The red sanctuary lamp is a witness to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle, where He accepts to be kept by us as the Blessed Sacrament, the Bread of Life. The burning lamp calls us to reverence for Jesus and to a prayerful spirit and openness of heart to Jesus who is always here waiting for us to listen to his voice, waiting to bless us, forgive us our sins, and fill us with the life He enjoys with his Father. The candle is a soft wax in a plastic container placed inside a red glass cylinder.
As it burns to give us light, this beautiful beeswax candle slowly gives up its wax, just as Jesus gave up his life to give us the true Light of Love and Eternal Life. So this candle represents Jesus, the Pasch or Passover Lamb, who gives his life to save us. The Chiro (Greek K) looks like "X" and with a "P" (Greek R) over it: in English "Chr", the first letters of CHRIST. The Alpha "A" and Omega "M", the first and last Greek letters, mean Jesus is the Beginning and the End of all Creation and Salvation. The five nails recall Jesus' five wounds.
This Paschal Candle is first blessed and lit at the Easter Vigil to celebrate Jesus' Resurrection, and it is lit all through the Easter Season, and always at Baptism and at funerals, the beginning and end of our earthly life.
Decorated with beautiful symbols of our faith, this font was made by parishioners Richard and Fran Merlo to replace the one burned in the fire. Its water is blessed at Baptism when babies, children, youth and adults become new members of the Body of Christ. They and we received the name of Christian when we were anointed with Holy Chrism, pure olive oil with fragrant balsam and consecrated by the Archbishop during Holy Week before Easter. The power and effectiveness of Baptism is not in the quantity of water used (immersion is occasionally done), but in the Holy Names of the Blessed Trinity and in the faith of the People of God.
The Ambry is the repository for the holy oils blessed by the Archbishop in Holy Week each year at the Chrism Mass. All the priests who can gather around the Archbishop, renew their ordination promises, and then the Archbishop blesses the holy oils for the Catechumens and the Sick. The Catechumens are those who are not yet baptized who are strengthened by this oil to live the Christian life and receive the other sacraments. People can be anointed whenever they become sick or when their illness becomes more serious, or before an operation. The Holy Chrism is not just blessed, it is consecrated, which means it is to be used by God to give a special participation in the holiness and power of God to persons and things. Holy Chrism is used in Baptism to make the newly baptized temples of the holy indwelling of the Blessed Trinity. It is used at Confirmation to fill the confirmand with the Holy Spirit and mark them with the character of Christian, a disciple of Jesus. It is used in Holy Orders to give a new priest - on his hands - the power to act in Jesus' Name to sanctify the people of God and to offer sacrifice to God, and a new bishop - on his head - as a mystical anointing to fill him with blessings for the people of God. The Holy Chrism is used to anoint crosses for the consecration of a church and also of an altar. The five crosses on the altar represent the five wounds of Jesus, and the 4 or 12 crosses in the church are for the 4 evangelists or the 12 apostles. (Ambry, chalices and linen donated by Terry Laporte. Ambry designed and built by Bernie Lavigne.)
Relic of St. Thomas à Becket
When our fourth pastor Fr. Gilles went to Rome in March/April 1997, he brought back 2 relics of our patron saint. One was placed in the Altar and the other was placed in this reliquary on the wall next to the Tabernacle. By honouring this relic, we can express our veneration for St. Thomas à Becket, and ask him to join us in our prayers through the communion of saints.
The Incense Stand holds the Thurible, which contains the burning, coals and the Incense Boat, which contains the granules of, dried tree gums. Burning incense makes clouds of smoke reminding us of the veil of mystery surrounding God, the Blessed Trinity. The rising smoke represents the prayers of the faithful rising up to God and the sweet smell represents their pure hearts, minds, bodies and souls; which are pleasing to God.
Processional Crucifix and Candles
Altar Servers carry a crucifix and candles when they lead the Presider and other into and out of the sanctuary and church for the Liturgy. The practice of acolytes carrying candles goes back to Roman times when Christians gathered underground in catacomb burial places - which the superstitious Romans would never enter - as a place safe from persecution where they could celebrate the Mysteries of the Faith. Candles allowed them to see in the dark and came also to represent Jesus, Light of the world.
From this table are prepared all the elements needed for the Sacred Liturgy: especially the bread and wine, water, and vessels containing them, and the linens, candles, oils. The bread and wine are ordinary bread and wine. When the priest says Jesus' sacred words over them, although they continue to look and taste like bread and wine; the Holy Spirit changes them into the Real Glorified Body and Blood of Christ.