We all arrange ourselves into neat rows, the last few stragglers hurrying to put down coats and water bottles, pull out sheet music. It’s one of the last few practices before our concert, our first rehearsal in the church where we will perform. Our sheet music is marked, penciled and yellow highlighted lines to remind us where to come in, where to pianissimo and where to fortissimo. We’re all shivering as the warmth from the heaters goes straight to the high-vaulted ceilings. Shivering, but laughing and talking away, just about every one of us.
The director claps her hands together, trying to quiet the chattering of all four sectionals. Finally, all: altos, tenors, basses and sopranos are hushed and expectant, waiting. The director lifts her hands.
We take a collective breath and begin to sing.
We’re singing Rutter’s Requiem, beautiful lyrics, including scripture, matched with gorgeous music. One of my favorite movements is number four: Sanctus. It is so joyous…I have to smile as I sing and praise God.
It’s beautiful. We’re still making mistakes and it still isn’t perfect, but…oh, it sounds gorgeous. We’re blending our voices to make amazing music to glorify God. I get chills as I hear our voices echoing off the high vaulted ceilings and wonder if God’s pleasure listening to us is anywhere near the thrill I get just singing and hearing others around me.
I think He must.
Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua, Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, Hosanna in excelsis.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna to God in the highest,
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to God in the highest.
Holy is He, indeed! And so we sing. We sing and we praise and we give glory to God.