|Letters from the week of 23 to 29 June 2014
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A Choir for All Seasons (in response to our front page of 22 June 2014)
I was long in a parish in Washington where the choir was not only wonderful and involved but also sponsored social events and made it known to all parishioners that they were also welcome to join the choir at its Wednesday night bowling club! Additionally for many summers the choir operated a summer theater that staged plays and musicals in June and July. Someone said it was the "choir for all seasons," and that pretty much captures it. The music director served in the parish for nearly 30 years and was as hard-working and energetic when he retired as he was the day he came. The role of the choir in that parish was unique in my church experience over the decades.
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
23 June 2014
I certainly agree that it can be a bit strange to be away from one's home parish and choir. The editorial from this week struck a particular chord with me since it was published on my first Sunday not singing in a parish choir in some time. There was an odd moment of dislocation in not being in the choir stalls since we take a hiatus in the summer, and searching for a place to sit.
With that being said, there are compensations. Today marked the second Sunday since Christmas, that my wife — who often serves as an acolyte — and I were able to sit next to each other in our own parish! We both enjoy our ministries as part of the service, but are thankful for this time to participate in worship together as part of the congregation.
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
29 June 2014
I have always envied people who could sing. I sometimes jokingly call myself a 'reverse professional singer—people pay me to stop singing'. I'd love to sing in my church choir, but I know better than to volunteer. It might cause permanent damage to the delicate sensibilities of the actual singers in that choir. So I miss the camaraderie there. I've had many a music director tell me that 'anyone can learn to sing' and then look for a way to back out of that position a few weeks later. I nevertheless feel welcome in my parish, though I sometimes feel a bit sheepish when I have to stand there holding the hymnal with my mouth closed listening to the people around me when it's a hymn that I absolutely don't know or that I know I can't sing without collateral damage.
I'm good at editing parish newsletters, but that's not exactly a social activity.
Julian P Windsor
Dayton, Ohio, USA
29 June 2014
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