A Most Wonderful Weekend!
I have spend most of this weekend doing one of the things that I love best — singing. I often tell people that I joined my first choir at age 7, and have missed only about 5 years of my life since then singing in some choir or other. At the moment, I am a member of two choirs, Vocal Alchemy and the choir of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton. I have lost count of the choirs I have belonged to in the intervening years, but it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is: I sing!
There is a famous saying, probably originating in Orthodox Christianity, that the one who sing, prays twice. I believe that with all my heart. Singing, especially choral singing, demands everything of a person. It involves the body, the mind, the emotions, and the spirit. If one is truly singing, the whole person is involved. If one is singing in community (i.e. in a choir), it also extends the person beyond the individual to become truly a part of a community.
A choir director once said that we needed to be able to hear the person next to us. If we couldn’t hear that person, we were either singing too loud, or we (or the other person!) were dead. That’s a good metaphor for community in any setting, but it works really well in a choir. No individual voice should be heard, rather one should hear the voice of the choir. A truly fine choir sounds like one voice, but also sounds like no voice in particular. A real community is dominated by no one person, but finds its voice when individuals join in chorus, hearing each other, and responding to each other. The individual is not lost, but is part of thwhole, contributing to the voice of the whole.
So: this weekend…
I spent it singing! Vocal Alchemy’s spring retreat was held yesterday. The morning was for the women, and my spouse went to take part in that. I joined back in for lunch, and then we spent the afternoon singing as a full choir. After an evening of relaxation, we headed off this morning for the morning events at Holy Trinity, which for us means choir practice at 9:30 AM, followed by the the 10:30 AM service of Holy Eucharist. We usually stay for coffee hour, but not today, because I had to be at the Vocal Alchemy men’s workshop by 1 PM.
It was great afternoon. I sang in a men’s choir for 10 years in Brandon MB, and came to love making music with other men. Today reminded me of the great times I had with Prairie Blend. I am so grateful for that experience, and so grateful that I can continue to sing in other contexts.
I cannot easily distinguish between these three facts.
Thanks be to God for a wonderful weekend! May there be many others.