Monday, December 12, 2011

A Humble Gift of Song

For Sunday, December 11, 2011

I’d practiced the song and knew it well. It was a beloved solo of mine that accompanied by our church choir had been sung at Mass last year too. As with any piece of music that challenges me, I was intense in my focus and I controlled my breathing, my articulation and enunciation of words, and my tone. I was ready to perform. The piano began. I had four measures before my first note...

Et Misericordia. To hear this beautiful song by John Rutter, click the link below.

Despite my preparation and having calmly sung the first several pages of the song, halfway through, my legs began shaking. I didn’t feel nervous but, as I continued to sing, I realized just how intensely I was working to have proper breath control, clear pitch, effective dynamics, and proper enunciation. My legs shook but luckily my voice did not. I was aware of my singing yet also acutely aware of how my body was betraying me. I told my legs to “settle”. They did not. Still, I continued to sing. Passionately yet in control. I began to soar.

Music is the purest way I pray.

Finishing the song today, I glanced at Sandy and she gave me that “Thumbs up smile and nod”. I instinctively sat down. That’s when Emma nudged me in reminder that I was to start the choir’s line to receive communion. I stood up, walked to receive the blessed host then returned to my pew. Emma knelt down and whispered, “Way to forget about Communion, Mom”. I smirked. I’d lost myself for a moment there...

For the duration of the song I had been lifted away from my pew. I felt my legs shake but another part of me felt as if I were floating. The music took me up into the heaven of high notes, only to lower me gently into a cradle at the song’s end. I believe singing is the highest form of praise I can offer to God. That’s why my legs shake. I sing with such intent, with great focus of my mind that my body is left to tremble at the thought of what I am offering up, at what I am most humbled by, at the hope that my praise is received and understood.

No comments:

Post a Comment