MY WAY IN SONG
Singing is definitely not my forte. Even though I like to express my
happier moments by bursting into song while under the shower, I fully realise I often sing flat and can rarely keep a tune in my head. Therefore, when approached by the organist in my church to join the choir of three, I was surprised I agreed. My overwhelming desire to please blinded me from any inadequacy I may have felt about my singing.
In the past, the only time I was happy to sing was when the person in the pew next to me had a strong voice which would obliterate mine, or otherwise guide me to the right note.
St. Joseph’s, the Catholic church I attend, is in a small town on a main coastal highway. In the tourist season the congregation swells to capacity with visitors. At those times it seems our little church is on show and I feel a responsibility to sing to the utmost of my ability.
Sometimes I am the only one in the choir and I silently pray my voice will carry me through. I sit in the front pew with the organ ahead of me. Just before the Priest enters from the sacristy I stand, turn to the people, welcome them to the church and announce the first hymn. When the Priest walks out to the front of the altar I feel his eye upon me waiting for my first note. I am sure he is relieved when I am in good form as I have noticed he joins in when I am obviously having difficulty reaching the notes. Then his strong melodious Irish voice rises above mine until I gain confidence.
During the Mass my voice alone is heard as cantor in the Kyrie antiphon:
LORD HAVE MERCY – Response
CHRIST HAVE MERCY – Response
LORD HAVE MERCY – Response
To chant these words I concentrate and listen intently to the sound from the organ. Surprisingly, I am on key. I often think the Lord must have seen to that small miracle.
Now after three years of singing in my sometimes off key tones, I have gained a new confidence in my ability, at least to chant.
When it comes to singing the Sanctus:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY LORD, GOD OF POWER AND MIGHT,
HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF YOUR GLORY,
HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST,
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD,
HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST.
my voice, with remarkable power, effortlessly rises to the heavens. I astound myself and no doubt everyone else.
There is no choir practice, so Sunday is the only time I sing. My service to the Lord in song has now become a joy. I have conquered my nervousness and grown in the knowledge that I don’t necessarily have to be the best singer to add voice to my praise.
“The Lord has done great things for us: we are filled with joy,” are the words that come to mind when I think about my singing. I am sure He must hear my feeble attempts.
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