Canterbury hosts outdoor Eucharist

Josh Dean

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Canterbury is the collegiate Episcopal Church at ULM and derives its name from St. Thomas of Canterbury.

The Episcopalian Church is the equivalent of the Anglican Church in Europe and began to adopt an independent identity during the time of the Revolutionary War.

Anglicans in America began to refer to themselves as Episcopal during the war to indicate that they had become a separate church within the United States.

Canterbury is a religious organization sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, and the group held its first open air Eucharist in Bayou Park on a Thursday evening.

The ceremony began at 5:30 p.m. with prayer and the recital of scripture and was held as All Soul’s Day approaches us on Nov. 2.

All Soul’s Day is a day of prayer for the dead, which is particularly but not exclusively devoted to ones relatives. The ceremony is associated with All Saint’s Day, which precedes it on Nov. 1 and its vigil which is Halloween.

It was led in part by the communications director Bette Kauffman along with two other priests.  Two ULM students attended the ceremony, and each participated in the worship by reading scripture.

Garret Boyte, a senior mass communications major, said he wanted to be involved in a church, but couldn’t find the right one until Canterbury.

“They accept everyone no matter who you are,” Boyte said.

This sentiment was echoed by Blake Marchbank, who said that when he discovered the church he was able to naturally fit in.

“The organization on campus is a tight-knit group and the first day they treated me as if I had been there my whole life,” said Marchbank, a freshman history major.

Organizations on campus are often seen as places of refuge for those looking to find their place at ULM and who desire a sense of community. Religious organizations often profess their openness and hope that those who are looking for a family on campus would share them a visit.

Boyte said, “The Episcopal Church and Canterbury can often seem inaccessible as the book club meetings we hold can seem too intellectual and lack a sense of welcome.

The standard service we held today gives people a chance to get involved.”

Arch Deacon Kauffman was pleased with the event and said more ceremonies were to come for the organization.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful night to hold this service,” Kauffman said.