As a family we like to start school breaks (Christmas and summer) with a little get-a-way. We find our holidays to be more relaxing because there is a distinct break between work and down time with the forced relaxation that a hotel stay brings. It’s nothing extravagant, just a couple of nights in a hotel with a pool in downtown Toronto, with someone to make the beds, cook meals and do the dishes for few days.
Each year one of the highlights is attending High Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral.
One of the reason’s my son likes going to the cathedral because his name is also Michael, so he feels a certain link with the church, like it’s his very own. He also likes looking for the Archbishop’s tasselled hat hanging above the altar. And the look of awe in his eye when he saw Thomas Cardinal Collins processing in was only matched by his excitement when he realized we would received communion from his Eminence.
Personally, I find a certain enchantment with the sacred beauty that Mass at the cathedral entails. There is all of the sacred art – murals, stained glass, the gold gilded tabernacle; which all focus the mind towards God (unfortunately all hidden behind restorers’ scaffolding on our December visit). When the 100-voice strong choir from the acclaimed St. Michael’s Boys’ Choir School sang the Gloria, I closed my eyes and imagined that this must be as close as earthly possible to the Angels’ refrain on the night of the Nativity. Added to this was the sweet scent of incense, and I felt that I was participating in something sacred.
I was so moved and excited by the whole experience, shortly after Mass I sent a text message to a friend: High Mass at the Cathedral with the Cardinal. AWESOME!!!!!!
To which he replied: Very cool … our Mass parish priest … no power … still awesome …
I was dumbfounded. He was so very right! Yes, all the sacred beauty and enchantment of the cathedral Mass are wonderful, but what is truly awesome, the source and summit of our faith, is the Eucharist. Whether it is celebrated on the altar of the humblest of chapels or under the Dome of St. Peter’s in
, the core of the Mass is the same. We
are called to partake in Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist. AWESOME!!!!! Rome