A few weeks ago, the Vestry got together for its annual retreat day. The theme of the retreat had to do with music, and one of the discussion prompts was this: “Describe a time when you felt touched or inspired by a musical moment at Incarnation.”
Answers ranged from our Christmas service of Lessons and Carols, to this year’s sung Passion on Palm Sunday, to memories of a specific organ voluntary or solo by a choir member. I’m sure we can all recall a musical moment or two, or ten, at Incarnation that touched us deeply.
In fact, the offertory anthem from just a couple of Sundays ago, Stanton’s “Alleluia! Hearts to heaven”, was a musical moment for me – especially the descant. (Descants get me every time!)
One of the greatest perks of my job is getting to sit near the high altar, enveloped by the voices of our choir and watching David play the organ with passion and gusto. Meditating on the contemplative music of our cantor at Candlelight Communion ranks up there as well. Music has always played an important role in the spiritual life of Incarnation and, as every Vestry member affirmed, is integral to our worship experience.
During the summer months, when parish life slows down a bit, we’ll have a soloist on Sundays rather than the full choir. It’s a time to get to know and rejoice in the unique giftedness of each choir member.
Fittingly, this Sunday, the Day of Pentecost, marks the last Sunday the full choir is present. On this great festival day, we celebrate many voices proclaiming the Good News, just as the disciples testified in many tongues through the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we add our own voices in song and praise and joyful refrains of “Alleluia!”, may we too feel that same Spirit – the One who is always behind those musical moments that lift our hearts and stir our souls.