This article, however, isn’t just an appeal to join choir; rather, I’m hoping that it will draw each person to reflection in anticipation of the coming Advent and Christmas seasons. Several studies have shown that the holiday season actually tends to be pretty hard on the adult population. There’s the financial stress of presents, travel, and food; the emotional stress of seeing or not seeing family; general stresses of cleaning, cooking, and busy schedules; and sometimes the added pain of missing loved ones. It might seem like pure insanity to add something else to an already-burdened schedule, but I want to make an appeal to your personal well-being. Do you have something built in to help you get away, enrich and nourish your soul, and fill you back up in this season of giving?
In busy lives where we give so much to our families and friends, it’s important to make sure we’re not running dry. No one can give what they don’t have, so our efforts to love and give can become strained when we don’t take time to fill ourselves back up. Jesus himself drew away to the wilderness be alone with His Father after intense weeks of ministry. If we’re striving to be Christ-like, we need to imitate the whole person of Jesus instead of chasing the culturally-manufactured ideal of the ever-serving, never-taking Christian. Jesus’ self-sacrifice flowed directly from the Father’s love which He received in moments of renewal, both alone and with the small community of his closest disciples. We need that space too. A quiet evening with a movie and a glass of wine does some good, but we need access to sources that will truly renew us. This can be found in both our prayer lives and in a community.
I have worked really hard to establish adult choir as a space that provides those very things. Members have told me repeatedly over the past few years that rehearsal is their chance to get away during the week and have time to do something they enjoy. They also feel more engaged during Mass, and even though they liked singing before, now feel like they get to sing as confidently as they want because they’re surrounded by others doing the same thing. I invite you to seek out something like this for yourself. If you love to sing and you love the music of this season, take this opportunity to do something you enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you’re an incredible singer; it’s good to give ourselves permission to do something creative just because we like it, not because we’ll make a living off of it! Choir is both a way to fill yourself up and give back to the community, even if you’re unable to participate through the whole year.
Finally, this last part is an invitation for everyone at the parish: On Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 PM, we will have an evening prayer service of music and readings from scripture, known formally as “Lessons and Carols.” It’s a short event - under an hour - where we’ll have readings through salvation history with music sung by the various choirs as reflections between the readings. There are no high school basketball games that night, so I hope you’ll take the chance to rest in God’s presence and enjoy some beautiful music.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I’m looking forward to a beautiful Advent and Christmas season.
God Bless, Kayla.