As the COVID-19 pandemic moves well into its second year, people are beginning to change the way they think and act, but more than that they are beginning to adjust their perspective to fit this period in world history.
For the parishes of the Diocese of New Westminster, facing another Holy Week without gathering together for worship was a difficult prospect, however, the leadership of the diocese had determined that Anglican parishes follow the orders from the Provincial Health Ministry and Provincial Health Officer and make the best of a less than ideal situation. With onsite, indoor, public worship prohibited with only the principals and tech crew for livestreaming allowed in the buildings, physically distanced, masked (except when speaking) and strictly following cleaning protocols the only option was to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry's concession that small groups may meet outdoors. The Parish of St. Catherine, Capilano saw that as an opportunity not a barrier and came up with the Good Friday, "Walk the Way of the Cross" held outdoors on the covered walkways of the parish grounds.
The event was scheduled to take place 10am-2pm on Good Friday, April 2, and those who would like to partake were asked to register to attend during a specific time slot so that physical distancing could be maintained even out of doors.
The walk began at the Registration Desk (pictured above) and after confirming the reservation and answering the COVID questions, participants encountered 14 pieces of art, contributed by members and friends of the St. Catherine's community. The diverse mixed media pieces created a unique experience. There were paintings, decoupage, sculptures, interior design, fabric art and art pieces using photographs. Each one of the pieces depicting a moment in Jesus' walk carrying the Cross to the place of crucifixion.
Following registration each participant was given a guide brochure containing reflections and prayers for each station.
The first prayer, the Beginning Prayer by Deborah Foster was as follows:
Jesus the Christ,
help me walk with you
along the holy way you once
walked toward your death.
I offer my mind,
my memory, and
my anxious, reluctant heart.
Help me to see
what you once did
for love of me
and all the world.
Upon completion of the walk the vicar of the parish, Reverend Sharon Smith was present to offer a blessing.
Later that afternoon Rev, Smith reported that 45 people participates in the "walk" including folks from the neighbourhood for whom prayer was a new experience.
Congratulations to St. Catherine's for what could well become a Good Friday tradition.