Yesterday I went to a very beautiful service at Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral. As cathedrals go, Christ Church Cathedral is not very big, but it is exquisitely beautiful and has one of the world's best pipe organs. The church was built in 1895 and was constructed in the Gothic stye out of cedar planking and old growth Douglas fir. Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral is the is the cathedral church of the Diocese of New Westminster of the Anglican Church of Canada, it is the regimental Church of the Seaforth Highlanders, and it is also the church at which the British royal family worships when in Vancouver. It's a beautiful church.
At yesterday's service, the priest's sermon really resonated with me. He spoke about how churches should get rid of all the rules and regulations, and become all-inclusive and welcoming. He said that Christ had stripped away all the rules, but by a couple of centuries later, the Church had put them all back again. That's very true. The rules and regulations are what chased me away from the church. There remained very little of spirituality, and a lot of "can't, don't, shouldn't..." Fire and brimstone seemed to be lurking ever closer, and all sense of sanctity was disappearing. That is a human construct, not a spiritual one. Rules and regulations...
I believe everyone has a spiritual aspect, some are just more private about it than others. Their concept of God, or a Higher Power, may be different from those folks who belong to an organized religion. There is no right or wrong way, no good, best or better. It's what a person feels inside their own thoughts and soul. I do believe also, that belonging to a church should not feel like joining an exclusive club. I don't think God is going to blackball anyone if they don't jump through all the hoops. It doesn't work that way. The priest also spoke about how divisive religion has been through the years, and still is -- perhaps now more than ever. I did a post about that recently, and a lot of folks disagreed with me, but religion is divisive; spirituality is not. They are two different things. Faith is not about the rituals, it is about seeing the good in other people, and as the priest said, seeing good in all things. One of the guest speakers at Christ Church Cathedral is the world-famed environmentalist, David Suzuki. We need only to think of the horrors of the oil spill in the Gulf to see how greed and unGodliness can wreak havoc on our little green planet.
"This is God's cathedral, and God is here at this wedding..." You don't need a church or the rules and constraints to be a spiritual person. That was the message in the priest's sermon yesterday. He was telling the folks to go out and find God everywhere. There are no rules.