|585: St James the Apostle, Montréal, Québec, Canada|
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Mystery Worshipper: Martin and Katie Luther.
The church: St. James the Apostle, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Denomination: Anglican Church of Canada
The building: It's a Gothic stone building erected in the 1860s. The inside is mostly wood and the ceiling of the sanctuary looks like it's made from the leftover parts of a ship. The chancel area is much more ornate.
The church: It's a very multi-ethnic community.
The neighbourhood: The church is in the middle of Montréal, surrounded by Concordia University.
The cast: Rev. Jan Dijkman presided with two layreaders (Harry Turton and Theresa Forester).
What was the name of the service?
Holy communion, 7th Sunday after Pentecost.
How full was the building?
It seemed practically empty. It's a sanctuary that could hold maybe 1500 and we had perhaps 100 people who were spread out around the building.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Someone politely handed us a hymnbook and returned to their conversation.
Was your pew comfortable?
It was adequate. Martin had a hard time because the pews date back from a time when people had much shorter legs.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
It was pretty quiet. The prelude was some ghastly organ piece that was very sombre.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning. The gremlins have hit the bulletin again. The first hymn will be 451."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
The Book of Common Prayer, a hymn book, and a psalm, which was printed in the bulletin.
What musical instruments were played?
Did anything distract you?
The musty smell of the air. Also, the person reading the Old Testament lesson had a very unique accent, which was distinctly off-putting.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Stiff-upper lip and also impossible to hear. People weren't singing very loudly and we were all spread out.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
9 The preacher was from South Africa and had a very definite accent and pronunciation that took Katie a few minutes to adjust to hearing. He was very straightforward about his message and illustrated his points well.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
It was on the various burdens we have, in relation to the passage in Matthew 11 where Jesus talks about legalism and his burden being light. He talked about the various types of spiritual burdens we have and then warned against legalism.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The Kyrie Eleison sung by the choir was gorgeous. And the language of the Book of Common Prayer was refreshing, as we are both sick of inclusive language.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The kneelers. They were so uncomfortable that Katie gave up kneeling halfway through the service.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Someone started talking to us and invited us to have tea with them.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Instead of coffee, we were offered juice and cookies. They were good cookies though.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
7 This is the average from Katie's mark of 6 and Martin's rating of 8. Katie thought it was too stuffy and would like to look elsewhere. Martin liked it immensely.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The un-kneelable-on kneelers.