Since our Choir Leader had her baby a few weeks ago, she’s been taking a well-deserved rest from leading our group to focus on getting her strength back and taking care of her three children under four years old. We won’t have her back for rehearsals until October.
We’ve been coping quite well with the singing – we’ve had a few fill-ins on the guitar, which makes for a change, since we are used to singing with an organ, and working with hymns mainly from “The Catholic Book of Worship”.
It’s been rather nice to have the chance to sing some of the more trendy hymns that I know from the 70s - for the first time as a choir member, rather than a parishioner in the pew. I must say though, that I really do love the traditional hymns and am looking forward to starting the rehearsals again, in preparation for Advent and the Christmas season.
This past Sunday morning at 10:00, we were accompanied by Bob, on the guitar, but we sang mostly CBW pieces: Praise To The Lord, Here I am Lord, Oh, Lord I Am Not Worthy and The Church’s One Foundation for the Recessional. At one point, a fellow soprano, Louise leaned over and said, “Nicole (our director) is here.” To which I replied, “She might be cringing, just a little.”
For the last few weeks, we have been steering clear of the new “Gloria” and “The Our Father” since the first is tricky and quite long, without the guidance from the organ, and the second is a cappella and we were a bit nervous to do it. However, this week we just went for it and sang them all! We had a few extra male voices for a change and as a result acquired some real depth to the sound we produced.
For me, personally, the “Oh, Lord I am Not Worthy” was particularly poignant as it was sung at my father’s funeral four years ago.
I must not forget to tell you what happened just before mass began.
We were up in the choir loft practicing a bit to get our starting notes right and there came a cry like a baby’s. I thought it must be our director’s new baby girl, but when it came within closer range, a murmur went through the chorus members and I overheard someone say the word, “cat”.
Well, those who know me will attest to my absolute love of cats. I have two remaining of a group of four that my husband and I had nurtured for a total of nearly 20 years. I immediately rushed over to where a mackerel-coloured tabby cat was casually strolling at the top of the stairs. It was a very friendly beast, and I thought I recognized it as being a cat my husband and I had met outside the back of one of our local breakfast places.
Another member, Pat, picked up the cat by its scruff and the cat just sank into his arms like a big baby. I reached over and scratched under its chin and it was truly in “heaven” (or close enough).
Sadly, our new mascot had to be put outside before the mass, but apparently he has become a fixture at the church, sneaking in whenever the doors are open. Father has had to close the outside doors to keep him out.
Personally, I hope he comes back. I’m calling him Cecil, since the Patron Saint of music is Cecilia, and this guy obviously likes church music!
I don’t have a picture of “Cecil”, but he looks a bit like this: