Festivals, feasts and parish traditions

This Saturday, we will celebrate the the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Feast of Title, with a Sung Mass, followed by a pancake breakfast in our parish hall.

Every Saturday we have Mass at 9:00 a.m. followed by breakfast, but the usual fare is as Fr. Carl Reid used to say when he was in Ottawa is “twigs and berries”  (by which he means granola and other cereal and fruit) and muffins.

This weekly Saturday breakfast, which began long before I joined the parish around 2000, proved to be a great means of both fellowship and catechesis.  I came to Annunciation from 10 years at a seeker-friendly Baptist Church and I had a lot of questions.  Back then, Bishop Robert Mercer was often present at our breakfasts and Fr. Carl Reid (who is now in Victoria, B.C.) and where else could you sit with a bishop and a priest and ask all the questions you want?  I also love the way this breakfast is open to all.  I have been known to bring questioning friends, non-Catholics, to this breakfast.

IMG_20170228_181638We also have an annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, which I write about at my personal blog Foolishness to the World. We had to lay on extra tables for unexpected visitors this year, shown above.

On Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday, or Mothering Sunday, we will have a simnel cake blessed on the altar, our women will receive flowers, usually daffodils in Ottawa, and our “Mother of the Year” will pour tea and coffee from our fancy tea set into tea cups with saucers instead of our usual mugs.

Our weekly Sunday breakfast, usually quite ample, will become a feast.  Last year our Mother of the Year was Louise Cooper, wife of our priest Fr. Kipling Cooper.  Sorry about the blurry photos, as they were taken on my phone.

We have an annual Thanksgiving Dinner –turkey, ham and all the trimmings every year on Canadian Thanksgiving;  We have an annual Epiphany Dinner, usually pot luck.  In many years we have had a parish picnic in the summer, though not last year.

DSC07363On Corpus Christi, we have a joint Mass and Eucharistic Procession with the nearest Roman  Catholic Parish St. George’s.  We hold the Mass at St. George’s because our church is too small, but we have alternated between our liturgy and the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  Last year, the Nuncio to Canada celebrated Mass and took part in our procession.    You can read Archbishop Bonazzi’s homily here. This year, our own Bishop  Steven Lopes will come celebrate and we are looking forward to his coming with joy and expectation.

How important are traditions, feasts and festivals in your parish life?  How do they form part of our patrimony?


1 thought on “Festivals, feasts and parish traditions

  1. Don’t know exactly where to put this, but I encourage everyone to take a look at the new St Barnabas, Omaha website http://www.saintbarnabas.net Along with a regularly updated Facebook page, this is a resource for both the parish and interested outsiders who might consider becoming insiders after seeing all that is going on. Many attractive pictures of the newly-renovated church as well.


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