Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 40 > Page 37 - At St. Ann's Day Mission, 1923

Page 37 - At St. Ann's Day Mission, 1923

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/8/1 (942 reads)
 

Andrew Alec, Wampum Keeper Chapel Island in background After Mass, the distinguished visitor from Prince Edward Island who sat up in the first pew, wearing his old-time coat, was asked by the Grand Chief, to make the ex? hortation. In a low voice, with apparent diffidence, he began; he continued with more confidence and with considerable ges? ticulation, a man of about 55, his thick hair turning grey, heavy set, having the look whenever I saw him, of being on his guard. I think he must have given this im? pression to others, too, for one of our visitors one day made a joke about him, saying that he was frightened when he came to the Island, and came in slyly so as not to be greeted in the oldtime way. In olden times a visiting party had to be met in the water, when both the visiting chieT and the welcoming chief had to stand over knees in water and shake hands, while on shore the welcoming party shot off their guns into the air. Mrs. Morris, as well as many others, greatly admired the oldtime coat from Prince Edward Island, likewise the old-time pointed cap and dress worn by the chief's wife, the only complete costimi- ing from antiquity on the Island. After the midday meal, the procession. A small red cross is carried at the head, two men follow, possibly the Sydney chief and Andrews, the pudus', the wampum record keeper whose home is at Botlodek', then the priest, on his right hand the chief from Prince Edward Island, on his left, the Grand Chief. Four men carry the image group of St. Ann and the Virgin, a heavy piece, and on either side, walk two little girls in white dresses. Follow a choir of 6 or 7 men, and then the crowd of worship? pers. From the church door the procession passes through the little avenue of flags and poplar branches, turns through another avenue of flags on the edge of the main body of wigwams and so past them to the boulder-set iron cross which is to one side of the arch of boughs over Road-up. This cross was encircled in anti-sunwise circuit, and the images set down to one side. Behind stood the choir. After their hymn in Micmac closed, the priest in Eng? lish announced that he had with him a reli? quary to be kissed. This cross-enshrined relic he proceeded to present to the mouth of each worshipper, wiping it between kisses with the sleeve of his vestment. Meanwhile others in the crowd pushed up to the images to kiss the feet of Mother and Daughter, and throw charity--with the right hand. "Charity" was also collected in two alms boxes carried in and out of the crowd. "The Indians are poor," the priest had said to the visitors, "the Mis? sion costs, give all you can." Returning, the procession made an anti-sunwise cir? cuit of the church before going in. Crawling to St. Ann Usually this ceremony is performed in the late afternoon of Procession Day, but this year because of the rain, it was postponed to the day following. Even so, because of the wet ground, the progressive kneeling ritual began at the church steps, not at some distance from the church. First a prayer was made by the Grand Chief. The men headed the procession of kneelers, who moved forward 3 or 4 knee-lengths or strides between prayers, i.e., all moved together and all prayed together, movement GOOD REPAIRS - GOOD SERVICE - GOOD FRIENDS AT... Good People Sea & Shore Services Inc Ship Repairs Drydock Machine Shop Welding Shop Professional Diving Service Full Mobile Unit Electrical Shop Dockside Refitting Carmel Ship Supplies General Ship Supplies Fueling Station Ocean Ships Fishing Vessels 'hijg'''ard' Drydocklng since 1866 Serving The Fishing Industry The Navy The Offshore 255 Commercial St., North Sydney TEL.: 902-794-4741 (37)
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