Sunday, December 23, 2007

ADVENTure Continues (4th Week)

It's the fourth Sunday in Advent and I'm busy sucking on lemon mint herbal throat lozenges. My throat doesn't hurt, I just like the taste of church music. It's the closest I ever get to synesthesia.

I'm getting ready for Christmas and excited about singing with a choir again. I haven't sung the Christmas Vigil Mass at midnight in years. My reasons?

Quite frankly, I was growing tired of spending Christmas Day wiped out with oratorio-induced adrenal fatigue. While I loved the rush that resulted from hours of singing, I did not love the subsequent crash. Or, for that matter, the time tripping. It's one thing to stay up all night at home, wandering around in flannel jammies and eating pretzels. It's quite another to begin peeling off pantyhose, swabbing off make-up, and chowing down a full meal at 2:30 AM. Plus, I couldn't help but notice that prayer was slowly being eclipsed by performance.

The lemon mint herbal throat lozenges that had once tasted like hymns, anthems and psalms, started tasting bitter. And so, I opted out and focused on making a joyful noise unto the Lord in my acoustically superior shower stall.

Whenever I think that healing happens in the strangest ways, I remind myself that nothing is impossible -- or strange -- for God. In June, I participated in a Gregorian chant and polyphony workshop. Last month, I went to lots of funerals and sang everything, including whatever the Cantor was offering up.

At one funeral, the healing mercy of God appeared to my right in the form of a former choir mate, one whose voice is like molten gold with threads of silver and flashes of sapphire. By the Alleluia, we were one voice interwoven and lifted in prayer. Shortly thereafter, I realized that singing with others was, for me, an essential spiritual practice. As for singing Christmas Vigil, this seems like the perfect time to celebrate birth as well as resurrection. Gloria in excelsis deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis!


  1. I enjoyed this, since I am the same way. I need to be part of a choir--I know I pray better when I am singing!

    Had to laugh at your post above on your Bergen County childhood. I love reading anything that mentions my old stomping ground, maybe even more so now that I live in sight distance of Philly rather than NYC.

  2. Right! Because as it is written, "she who sings prays twice..." Or something like that.


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