A HUNDRED THOUSAND FACES IN HARMONY
Saint Augustine says to us: “To sing is to pray twice”
That is the venture experienced over almost ten years by the parish Choir of Montrouge called “Chorale Alléluia” which I would like to share with you.
There are some fifty choir members: within this group some twenty of us are part of the vocal Renaissance ensemble where, during five or even six Saturday afternoons, we work on musical pieces dating from the Renaissance .
When we look at ourselves, we are all different: men (certainly not enough), women, small persons, tall persons, young persons, the not so young, active persons, retired persons, white persons, coloured persons. But we form a group that is unified in diversity. This unity cannot operate without a leader full of dynamism, of patience, of will and of mildness, of exuberance and of rigour, and above all one who has the gift of transmission.
A real intergenerational kaleidoscope!
Each Monday, we meet joyfully with our scores: that sheet of paper that we hold in our hands shows circles in the middle of lines. Is it a la, a fa, a do?
In the church the silence can be felt. In front, there is the cross that is preparing our heart, our soul, our whole body, to enter into communion. Suddenly, a sound rings out, then another, again another and a final one. We recognised them. The key has been given. Together, we reproduce them, then, in a single surge, we interpret what is written on the score. We are one.
In the course of the practices, words come back, inescapable, for Alphonse our leader, which in fact are also attitudes, postures:
We like to discover the songs of all countries, all languages, all the different times and styles
In fact, it is a matter of singing together, of forming a single voice, of listening to one another. For me, the diversity of the group, the quest for unity in the singing, the listening that allows harmony, speak to me also of what I live in community, in the Congregation as a Little Sister of the Assumption. Not always easy!
Is that not the challenge of a life in community: listening, communion, unity?
Father Pernet, our Founder, loved to repeat this prayer:
“My God, unite all minds in truth and all hearts in charity.”
The beauty of liturgical singing, of classical singing, invite me to thanksgiving …
It is real leisure, but also real work.
I admire the way in which our Chief makes us pray through learning to sing.
But I do not forget the times of conviviality that also contribute to making our group more lively and more sisterly. This pleasure of being together can be seen also on the faces of those who are listening.
The children, the couples, the families, the elderly, the sick, the unmarried, all the diversity of our assemblies, each person finds something in the sounds, the texts, the interpretation or the harmony.
It is marvellous to sing as a servant of the Word of God and that this touches everybody most deeply.
So, YES to singing, it is to pray in all gratitude for the Glory of God. .
Monique Mage- Little Sister of the Assumption