Sunday, May 6, 2012

semi-temporary worship space

Things are afoot at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince.  We have been worshiping under a pavilion in the former cathedral parking lot, located between the old cathedral and the old convent.  It is bordered by a building which is still standing (1st photo below, left; 2nd photo, right). 

However, we have a big event coming up later this month: the consecration of the Diocese of Haiti's first suffragan bishop. After 150 years, this is a big deal.  We are the biggest diocese numerically in the Episcopal Church, so there is a lot of territory to be covered.  The cathedral already needed a more solid worship space, something with doors and walls (I heartily concur as I listen to the downpour outside), and Holy Trinity Music School needs a place to hold concerts since the destruction of the Salle Ste Cecile two years ago.  With the upcoming consecration and the need for space for the guests, this new, much larger pavilion is going to be a real blessing.  If I understand correctly, the sides of the building will not go on until afterwards, which will leave more space around the building open for the congregation.

old pavilion worship space with the beginnings of construction for the new, still temporary, but more solid worship space - altar is still in a sort of niche in the building to the left
April 22, 2012
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince
A few weeks ago, we all came in to find a few rows of concrete blocks in places where we normally walk.  Last week we were used to it and had figured out how to distribute communion without making anyone climb over anything.  

This week, as you can see below, so much had been done that we had to turn the space sideways. The sacristan and others were up pre-dawn, if I understand correctly, cleaning up the construction area so it would be usable for church today. Must have been interesting for them with no lights...

The new "semi-temporary" building will be in this direction, with the altar on the soon-to-be-raised area to the left, partly filled with dirt and rubble, behind the altar and sedilia.  The altar will be moveable so that this space can also hold the Orchestre Philarmonique Sainte Trinite and other groups from the music school.  As was pointed out to us after church, it will be good to repatriate them, so to speak, since they've had to rent space for concerts since the earthquake. 

Construction is progressing on the new semi-temporary worship space
May 6, 2012
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince
We did have to do a little stepping over concrete blocks this morning, but worship went well despite the inevitable reworking of what is supposed to be done where.  I am happy to report that when the microphone cord reached out and wrapped itself around my ankle, I didn't drop the thurible. 

By the time of the consecration, concrete blocks and microphone cords will all be in their proper places - and so will we. 

It will be a few years before the new cathedral is built, but meanwhile everyone will feel a little more settled. No doubt we will be a lot drier during the rainy season as well.  Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the pictures and update Sarah! We'll be sure to pray for the Diocese of Haiti at St. Mark's on May 20, and for the continued work of rebuilding.