A reflection by Marjy Jones
As we're invited this fall to take stock of the many blessings in our lives together at St. Luke's, I've made it my practice to run through a long list of blessings in my head, acknowledging the people, activities and experiences for which I am grateful. Every day I am grateful for the love of my husband and the people of St. Luke’s; the ability to listen to music and raise my own voice in song; and the big one – that I made it out of bed and can sing alleluias to God one more day here on earth.
Thankfully, there are many like-minded parishioners at St. Luke’s who share the enthusiasm for making music, and are quite serious in the endeavor. I am grateful, indeed, to be a member of the St. Luke’s adult choir. To be in a choir means that I won’t be a solo singer – there must be others so we can sing in 4-part harmony and make a loud, joyful noise! There is a guarantee, as stated in the BCP, that when we gather, since there are 2 or more – so God is there, too. And we revel in supporting each other.
Being a member of the choir means that fellowship opportunities abound, meeting for rehearsals weekly on Wednesday nights from September through May. Several times a year the choir gathers for pot luck dinners. Conversation flows as we share our joys and concerns, and because the dishes that are served are so tasty, the subject of publishing a cookbook exclusively filled with recipes contributed by choir members always comes up.
My spiritual journey is enriched by the connectedness I feel with my choir colleagues and the activities we share. We strive to learn more about our faith and understanding of God through the pieces we sing. We attempt to duplicate the gorgeous sounds that Kate demonstrates to us during our warm-ups that she expects us to replicate in the anthem performance, and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when we succeed in creating sounds pleasing to God. We listen attentively as Kate reveals to us Haydn’s inspiration for a cantata on Creation. We sing settings of Psalms that have been used for millennium to lament, praise, or glorify the Lord. Our anthems illuminate the readings and amplify the messages of the scriptures for the congregation’s understanding. And, as a special bonus, we are privy to the music that will be sung in the upcoming seasons, practicing music to be heard at Advent, Christmas and Easter weeks in advance.
The choir is amazingly a gathering of individuals who prove that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. I feel privileged to be a part of this beautiful ministry at St. Luke’s and am humbled to carry the legacy of liturgical music forward into the 21st Century.