Reverend Christina Yanko from the Toronto Buddhist Church was one of the officiants at the mass wedding which took place at World Pride in Toronto recently. I asked her for a bit of info about it and here’s what she told me…
“I have attached 3 pictures. They are by the Westend Studio. I don’t think the couple will mind since their pictures were in the paper quite a lot. Sorry the cardinal kind of photo-bombed me but that maybe adds a fun dynamic. One is me doing Sanbujo : calling the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in to witness the auspicious occasion (we scatter paper lotus petals called keiha, which you can see in the air). Lastly is me with the cardinal. I think the photographers liked taking pictures of us together because we had the fanciest outfits and a Catholic and a Buddhist together makes for a nice photo op.
“First there was a big mass ceremony. Each of the officiants were asked to perform a blessing from their religious tradition. We don’t really believe we have any authority to bless people since we ourselves are not perfect, so I simply chanted Sanbujo (as you can see in the picture). Following the mass ceremony, each of the couples had to have their own service where we did the vows, I do’s and paperwork with their witnesses. I performed ten. We had 10 minutes for each one so prior to the day I was informed whom my couples were and consulted with them to find out what they would like. Some wanted to have their own vows, some wanted to just repeat after me, and a couple wanted me to focus on Buddhism within marriage. I tried to tailor things as much as I could.”
Thanks, Reverend Christina, for your service to the LGBTQ community and for your telling us how it went. Gassho.