Vicar's Blog ~ April 2019
We must congratulate the ladies on the choir, who have now been singing with us for a hundred years! In the Parish magazine of April 1919, our predecessors reported: “An innovation has been introduced into the services at S.Mary’s by the admission of ladies into the choir in place of boys, and we are very pleased to say that the change has met with very general approval. By saying so, we cast no reflection upon the boys who have just left, for they did their best and behaved well. But the ladies are older, know more of music, and fortunately are possessed of good voices. We hope soon to see the present number doubled, then with a few more men than we have at present we shall have a choir which we feel sure will re-establish the former reputation of S.Mary’s choir for good music….”
This, perhaps amusing but instructive comment reminds us of the great heritage of music we have here as we begin to see the end of the organ restoration in sight. There will be an organ spectacular evening on 18 May and Bishop Rob will come to Chorial Evensong on 19th May. Do make a note in your diaries! Before that of course we shall have our Annual APCM (which we mark the centenary of the PCC too!) and that will be followed by a ‘Songs of Praise’ service at which, hopefully, we shall also hear the organ sounding forth once again its merry notes. For let us remember that hymn-singing brings its own form of communion: communion not of bread and wine as such, but of sound and time. For when we sing a hymn we are joining with all those who have ever sung it, and indeed with those who will yet sing it, and with those, who are singing it on another shore, in eternal light. Joining in the songs our forebears have sung, we sing with them – we don’t just remember them, but we re-member ourselves and them as a great, continuous heavenly choir, reunited in the repetition of hymnody, ancient and modern. And future: for when we sing a new hymn of praise we are participating in a kickstarter - an emotional and spiritual crowdfunding of something which will carry us, and our successors forward into that equal eternity, where there is no noise, nor silence, but one equal music.
As we travel through Passiontide and Easter this year, let us always hold dear our hope: that throughout our lives, from youth to old age and beyond, we may yet ascend to that eternal, timeless, resurrection realm where we may dwell with all the saints in resurrection light.
Bring us O Lord God, at our last awakening, into the house and gate of heaven; to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.