This morning we celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite. It was an amazing experience. The music in various languages, including Arabic was quite moving. The vestments and ritual was stunning. I had the privilege of being a minister of communion. When I received the ciborium with the consecrated bread I was greeted by a sweet scent and the taste and texture of the eastern-rite leavened bread. It was very different. I was actually surprised by it. I remember reading some of the church fathers who wrote about how we should taste and see how good the Lord is and how sweet. Well, for the first time I realized what they were talking about.
We spent the afternoon with some free time. Some people went into the old city by public transit. (The congress pass gives us free passage). Others stayed the grounds of the congress. This is what I did and managed to have lunch with my nephew Tony and his girlfriend Amy. I then checked out the expositions, vendors and talks. I had the opportunity to spend time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where the Ark of the New Covenant was holding the monstrance.
Finally we visited the Ursuline Convent for an evening prayer liturgy near the tomb of Marie de l’Incarnation. It was a celebration of our saints and the diversity of vocations in the church.
Finally we came home to a great festival meal with music and guests from the local parish of St. Anne. The pastor and a few parishioners came and joined us and put on a very humerous skit about the beginnings of the shrine.
Many thanks to Emanuel Pires and Neil McCarthy of the Archdiocese of Toronto for their support and help… especially with the great photos.