One of my fondest memories in going to Sacred Heart Church as a child was to see one of the alter servers. I was pretty disappointed when a young boy named "Kippie" had decided to become a priest and went away to a private school. He was a product of the Parochial schools. Kippie Muldoon I think, was his name. Its funny how we remember things out of the blue. I went to public school as we were a large family and I'm sure it would have been expensive to continue through a Catholic high school.
It may have something to do with the fact that we changed parishes, because they sorted parishioners by Nationality, that I didn't see Kippie anymore. I though he was too good looking to become a priest. I wonder how he turned out. But this story is more about serving God where you are planted. I recall as a young child I sang all the time, and still do. One day, while still at Sacred Heart, I was asked to join the choir. I didn't read music, but caught on. I think I was in the second grade, when to my surprise I was asked to sing "Come Holy Ghost." So, I did and while I was singing it seems the whole church turned around and looked up to see who it was. I didn't see them, but the sound was deafening. Since I'm not 5' full grown I can only imagine that they did not get a glimpse.
I have sung in just about every church in town. I wanted to take singing lessons, but we didn't have the extra money at that time. If anything, singing in the choir has made me well-rounded in music. Let me tell you what you already know, it is like night and day. The Catholic services are accompanied by an organ and other instruments which I observed at a Baptism a while back.
I'm sure it will come as no surprise when I say I enjoy the peaceful unaccompanied choir and cantor responses instead. You may have noticed that I used Singing Out as a title of this post. The reason is that I wanted you to know that if God can use me, he can use anyone willing. The fact is, after I had my two sons I didn't sing in church because I had asthma for one reason and was ill quite a lot. The allergist told me to blow on a horn or take some voice lessons to open up my lungs. It all happened so fast. First the lessons, the next thing I knew, I was Orthodox.
Orthodox and singing in a choir, no less. The priest approached me and asked me to be a choir director. This is bazaar for someone who just had a few voice lessons, did not understand or read music, never mind giving others a note. The short of the story is, that I chose to listen to God, and serve Him. Like Peter, I got out of the boat into the raging storm. And, that wasn't the first time. The church provided instruction, I took one lesson to find out where to place my hands on the organ, and served for ten years. I simply got out of the way, and let God. Many days after working, I spent directing the choir in a mirror, and playing the keys on the keyboard. I taught myself how to read music.
My husband and I are now five years at another parish. The liturgy is the same but we use a Cantor. It is difficult to sing from memory, not using an organ for a pitch. We follow the priest who is always on key, for the most part. The tones are different. So, being a convert I learned the eight tones in one church, and then switched to a totally different style. I am no longer bothered by asthma. The hoarseness that use to plague me was caused by the medication I was taking, a side effect I didn't need.
Why I am telling this story is because there is a catacumen out there who is being confronted with many questions and infact is probably going through a lot of different feelings. Why does God choose us? I don't know. Is it going to be easy? Definately not. Is it worth it? You bet.
To this day I don't think the two priests who have asked me to sing know that God asked me first in my heart, and prepared me for the task at hand. Because, He created me and my voice, and He wants me to sing for Him. We all have a purpose, and sometimes we ask why me? But, I have learned He is always there for me, and will be there for you if you just trust in Him. We can not hold other's responsible for what we were but we are responsible for what we become in Him. So get out of the boat and like Peter, let go and let God.
To read more on trust go here.
Almost A Minyan
3 months ago