For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver has opened its doors to Mass for all, without any restrictions.
The celebration took place on July 1, the first day the BC government lifted a host of restrictions on places of worship and various activities.
“It is a privilege and a pleasure for me to celebrate this Mass today,” Vicar General Fr. Gary Franken said during the Mass which began at 12:10 p.m.
“We enter this Mass rejoicing on Canada Day for many blessings and continuing our prayers for our country and all its peoples, remembering especially our First Nations peoples, and asking that we let us all grow in the grace of God because we know Saint Joseph and all the saints have done it.
During his homily, Father Franken apologized “for the hurt and pain” the Church has caused by running residential schools with the federal government.
“Our country’s history is something we all need to be aware of. As we celebrate Canada Day, we have the opportunity to celebrate many, many good things, but no one’s story is without things that need healing and we can’t hide from that,” did he declare.
“We look forward to the pursuit of truth and reconciliation.”
He also led a prayer of trust in Saint Joseph with the congregation.
As of July 1, places of worship in British Columbia are no longer subject to pandemic restrictions on capacity, distancing, registration or social distancing. Masks are now recommended, not mandatory.