On the Road Again: Feasting in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

24 Nov

I was privileged to grow up in a border state, Michigan.  In fact, as I found out when I moved across state to attend college in a Detroit suburb, part of Canada is south of Detroit, as the province of Ontario curves around and comes up underneath the Motor City.  So when we crossed the Detroit River into Canada via the Ambassador Bridge or the corresponding tunnel, we actually went south!

I visited Canada four times, all during my college years.  I stayed in the province of Ontario all four times.

Two of those visits were via the Blue Water Bridge that crosses from Port Huron, Michigan into Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Both times, we went to visit the Catholic church where a friend of ours from our Christian fellowship had grown up.  His father was the choir director there.

The first time, he invited us to the church’s Madrigal Feast.  As a nineteen-year-old, I was blown away by this Christmastime ritual.

First of all, there was so much food!  Something like twenty courses and they were not small.

In between the courses, the church’s choir paraded around the church hall, singing traditional madrigal songs and Christmas carols.

But the part that amazed me the most was at the beginning.  I was so young and had never heard of the tradition of parading the boar’s head around at a feast, while singing a carol about it.

Funny . . . and pretty weird.

But, altogether a night for a nineteen-year-old to feel adult and sophisticated.  It was one of my first formal affairs on my own without my parents!  And I was growing up!


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