'Pure prayer, song and dance'

  • November 7, 2008
{mosimage}TORONTO - Before the Rogers Centre filled up and before the hours of praise and worship began, native drummers and dancers had the crowd rocking at Heaven’s Rehearsal.

The evening of straightforward, charismatic praise, music and Bible reading hosted by the Evangelical Crossroads Ministry attracted close to 25,000 Evangelical, Pentecostal and Catholic Christians to Toronto’s baseball stadium Nov. 1.
The pageantry of the evening traced the roots of Christianity in Canada and the world starting with the blowing of the Shofar, the ram’s horn that Jews have traditionally used to greet the new year. As the evening continued with dance and music from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia the message repeated over and over was that Christ is Lord.

“It was enriching from the point of view that I had the clear sense that people were listening to the Word of God,” said Fr. Damian MacPherson, the archdiocese of Toronto’s ecumenical affairs officer and one of the readers during the three-hour-plus gathering. “And they were free enough to respond to it.”

Catholic willingness to participate in charismatic praise is an important starting point for ecumenical dialogue between the church and Pentecostal movements, said MacPherson.

“Of everything that took place, nothing contradicts our religious belief,” MacPherson said. “It was pure prayer, song, dance.”

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