FREDERICTON – More than 100 members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church met for a joyous Easter celebration at the Anglican cathedral in Fredericton. Their usual spot – St. Anthony’s
Catholic Church on the city’s north side — was already booked, so the Ukrainian Community of Fredericton approached Christ Church Cathedral.
“We started shopping around,” said Oksana Tesla, president of the association, adding she had been to concerts at the cathedral in the past. “Having the service in this beautiful cathedral, everyone was amazed,” she said. “The cathedral looks very European. It feels closer to us.”
The service began outside with the priest, who had travelled from Moncton, blessing the traditional Easter baskets that contained Easter bread, sausage, smoked ham, butter, cheese, salt, horseradish and painted eggs. They also contained a candle and a green branch to symbolize new life.
Having the service given in their native language meant a great deal to worshippers, said Ms. Tesla. Many dressed in traditional costume for the occasion. For both those Ukrainians such as Ms. Tesla who have lived in Canada for several years, and newcomers forced out because of the Russian invasion last year, the day was a special one meant to bring everyone together in celebration. “When you are far from home, you sometimes value things differently,” she said. “It was quite emotional. We were looking forward to it for a very long time.”
The New Brunswick Anglican