Easter water: the Quebec tradition
Saint-Venant-de-Paquette is a tiny village of 111 people, at last count, in the Eastern Townships, east of Coaticook. The village has only two part-time employees: the mayor, and a secretary. The nearest fire department is in Vermont. There is snow removal and garbage removal, but no internet.
The church of Saint-Venant-de-Paquette is, for most of the year, a museum run by village's historical society. But three times a year, including Easter, the parishioners from the village reclaim the church to hold services there. This weekend, the population of the village of Saint-Venant-de-Paquette will nearly TRIPLE for a special Easter service that involves a trip by torchlight, down to the river.
Parishioner Marc-André Inkell will be there and he spoke with Sonali Karnick about this tradition that starts well before sunrise on Easter morning.
The search for Easter water is something that goes on across Quebec. For many, it's a family affair, involving a walk through the forest, or across fields, to get to the water's source.
Father Yoland Ouellet is the rector of Notre-Dame-du-Cap in Trois-Rivières. He spoke with Sonali Karnick about how his own parish practises this tradition.
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