My husband and I were welcomed as New Members at the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Redeemer this morning. I feel settled now. It’s been such a long round-about journey and finally, finally, I’m settled.
My family and faith background is Mennonite – where it can be tricky to separate the culture and the faith. But that’s my grounding. Those are my beliefs. Fundamentally, theologically, they haven’t changed a whole lot.
My uneasiness with the worship services in my home church increased with my first exposure to the liturgical service.
I was a music student at University, originally a pipe organ major (a long story), when I became friends with some Lutherans. My ethnocentrism started unraveling.
Then they invited me to fill in on the organ when their organist was unavailable. And I was introduced to the liturgical service.
The ritual, the beauty, the contemplative and reflective spirit. The holiness.
I changed universities and switched majors – back to the piano I had always done. I was unable at that point to conceive of a commitment to the kind of church where I could get a job as an organist. But the craving for the soul-nourishment of a liturgical service never left.
Then I married a Catholic. He very patiently attended my home church those first few years. We left the Mennonite church to attend a (very) large Evangelical church. We thought – and no regrets here – that it would be a good place to raise our kids.
Now they’re almost adults. Making their own decisions. And it was the right time to do something for the two of us.
It didn’t even take any “church-shopping” to decide on the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (Calgary, AB). We’d been there a few times over the years – for those special Christmas and Easter services. It’s a good meeting-place for a Protestant and a Catholic. We can both participate fully.
The music is arguably the best church music in the city. Bach or Mendelssohn on the organ many mornings. A choir that sings Renaissance motets, Brahms, Stanford, Holst. The sermons are far from fluff – there’s an intellectual approach that sits so well with me.
I can relax there and yet, be completely engaged in my worship. It feels like a homecoming.
Did I mention the good music? The Cathedral choir singing Hassler’s Cantate Domino: