How Can I Keep from Singing?

Written on: March 30, 2023

From Sister Donna Lord, GNSH

What fun it is, as the years flow on, and “senior” seems to be a word heard more and more, to ponder some of the twists and turns our lives have taken. One key moment for me was the day eighth graders at St. James School in Buffalo were invited to join the adult choir at St. James Church. There would be no transportation problem since both school and church were right across the street from my home. Though the musician was stern, I joined the choir and persevered all through high school.

Upon entering Holy Angels Academy as a freshman, I was invited to join the glee club. There I was joined by young women with excellent singing voices. With a fine director guiding us, we practiced a wide variety of both serious and lighthearted pieces, and performed at school concerts and other venues.

Fast forward to the novitiate of the Grey Nuns, and once again music and singing were an important part of our lives. Away from home for the first time, and faced with many rules about how to be a “good Sister,” I drew comfort from learning beautiful liturgical music, and singing at Mass. We also had non-liturgical songs which we sang for the fun of it. I am reminded of a scene from the Sound of Music where the Trapp family children were called upon to sing for the new woman friend of their father.

Now here I am in my “senior years” singing with the choir at church. Before COVID, there was an excellent musician and a full choir with women and men – soprano, tenor, alto and bass. The choir was suspended, however. Now that COVID has receded, there is a new (equally excellent) musician and six brave choir members – all women, all sopranos.  One of the sopranos likes to sing an octave lower, so that lends a bit of variety! I trust the choir does enhance the worship service and helps the members of the congregation lift up their hearts to God.

Though the bible mentions the heavenly choir of angels, we don’t get to hear them while we are still in this world. However, when my time comes and heaven becomes my home, I might approach that choir and see if they are accepting new members. If experience is a criterion, I might just be a shoo-in!

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