On the feast day of our patron, Sunday, July 27th, the people of St. James’ celebrated a special liturgy in which we ceremonially received the gift of a carved cedar mask. The mask, created by Mike D’Angeli, was designed as an altar cross and was placed on the Altar of St. David of Wales, Vancouver up until that Parish closed March 1st, 2014. It was then gifted to St. James’ Church. The Mass began with a welcome to the traditional territories of the Coast Salish People, given by spiritual leader Wes Nahanee of the Squamish band. At the offertory, the Nisga’a dance group, led by Keane Tait, processed the mask into the church to be blessed, and offered an honour song. At the conclusion of the Mass, apples and oranges were given as a thank you to all who were present as a way of inviting them to the responsibility for sharing their experience and keeping the memory of this ceremony alive. The mask was created as a symbol of the long and enduring relationship between the Nisga’a People and the Anglican Church, especially within our own diocese. It will be installed where it will be immediately visible to all who enter St. James’.
Images: Top, The Mask (PHOTO by Jerry Admas). Right The Mask is processed in to the Chancel by Zak Tait of the Nisga'a Dance Group. Below 1Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins blesses the Mask. Below 2 Members of the Nisga’a Dance Group offer an honour song. Below 3, The Nisga’a Dance Group pose for a photo. PHOTOS (except where noted): Tracy Russell