Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)
- TITLE: Singing with the Angels
By Lyn Churchyard
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“Jennifer.” A querulous voice broke through her thoughts. “We’re waiting to start practice.”
“What?” Jenny asked in confusion.
“Carols practice.” The older woman said impatiently. “We’re waiting for you to play the piano.”
Jenny moved to the piano and took her seat reluctantly. It had only been three months since her husband died leaving her a widow with an eight-year-old son. The last thing she felt like doing was carol singing.
Mrs. Warren tapped her baton on the music stand to get the choir’s attention. “We’ll begin with It Came upon a Midnight Clear.”
Jenny played automatically, thinking back to the night the police arrived at her door with the news Adam had been killed on his way home from the airport. It had been midnight. A crisp, clear autumn night and the driver of a sixteen-wheeler had fallen asleep at the wheel and slammed into Adam’s car, killing him instantly.
“We’re going to try that again,” Mrs. Warren droned, “and this time, I want the tenors to put more effort into it. I could barely hear you.”
Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Away in a Manger followed and Mrs. Warren showed no mercy either to the choir or to Jenny for the lateness of the night. With her in charge, this was going to be the best carols singing in the history of Logan City Church.
After a fourth attempt at Away in a Manger, Jenny felt as though she was going to scream. Her headache had progressed to the point where she was seeing ‘sparkles’ and she knew she was heading for a migraine.
She stopped playing and closed the lid of the piano. “I’m sorry Mrs. Warren, but I have to go. It’s late and I need to get home to my son.”
The choir members breathed a collective sigh of relief and started to put away their sheet music.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Mrs. Warren demanded as they began following Jenny out of the church. “We need to practice.”
“Mrs. Warren, we have six weeks until Christmas. We’re practicing for carol singing in the park, not the Opera House, two hours once a week is plenty. We don’t need three hours three nights a week. We have families to take care of and jobs to go to.”
The self-appointed choir mistress fumed as they continued towards the church doors. “I happen to take carol singing very seriously. I shall be speaking to pastor about this.”
No one took any notice; they were all accustomed to Mrs. Warren’s outbursts.
Matthew still awake when Jenny checked on him after the babysitter left. “Honey, what are you still doing awake?”
“I wanted to show you the story I wrote for Christmas.” He said, pulling out a crumpled sheet of paper from under his pillow.
Jenny took the sheet of paper and tears flowed as she read the words her little boy had written, and her heart almost burst with pride.
This Christmas my daddy is in heaven with my Nan and Poppy. Mummy and I miss him so much, but I know he is really, really happy there, because he gets to talk to God and walk around with Jesus.
On Christmas Mummy and I are going carol singing to tell other people about Jesus, and I bet my Daddy will be singing with the angels because he has a really good voice.
One day when Mummy and I are really, really old and we die and go to heaven, we’re going to be able to sing Christmas carols with Daddy and the angels too.
Jenny wrapped her arms around Matthew and hugged him. “Oh Matty, that is so beautiful. I can’t wait for Christmas Eve so we can sing together.”
“Will you sing to me tonight Mummy?” Matthew asked as he snuggled against her.
Hesitantly at first, then with a heart overflowing with gratitude and love, Jenny began to sing,
“O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth…” she paused and gently kissed Matthew who had fallen asleep, a smile on his face as he dreamed of a heavenly choir.
“O Holy Night”
Words: Placide Cappeau, (1808-1877) Music: Adolphe C. Adam (1803-1856)
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