The Joy of Singing Together

It is Christmas Eve. Music is wafting through my bedroom door, voices raised in song.

“Shall we try that one again?” suggests Imogen.

“Can you give me the first note?” asks Andy.

“Does Callum know this one?”

“Oh that sounds good!” says Charlotte.

I have to agree. I smile. In a few hours’ time we will be at Midnight Mass. Andy, Callum, Imogen and Charlotte will be singing with the choir. The rest of us will listen from the pew.

I love listening to my family sing. To me, the sound they make is almost magical, because I can’t sing at all. It seems rather remarkable to me that I’m the mother of musicians. I enjoy the sound my husband and children make, but even more, I enjoy watching them as they work together. They share a passion. They help and encourage each other. They get great satisfaction from conquering a new piece of music and performing together. They enjoy being with one other.

Yes, music connects us together, even me who isn’t musical in the slightest. It’s a big feature of all our celebrations. What would Easter and Christmas be without hymns and carols? A birthday wouldn’t be quite the same without a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday.

This morning through the open window, we could hear the click of high heels coming down our driveway. It was Jane, one of our choir masters.

“I’m just dropping off some music for Imogen,” she said, as I opened the front door. “See you tonight at Midnight Mass!”

I gave the music to Imogen who said, “This is the psalm music. Am I singing the psalm tonight?” It seems she is. 

Years ago my eldest daughter Felicity, who is also a singer, was rather envious of some friends who sang regularly in musical productions in Sydney.

“But you sing for God in church,” I reminded her. Yes, there is no greater honour than that.

Imogen often sings the psalm at Mass. My mother’s heart beats just a little quicker as I listen to her. Yes, I admit it: I am a proud mother. But the other week, after Mass, I said to Immy, “You sang well! But yours wasn’t the best voice in the church.” When I told her the following story, she agreed. (She would have agreed even without the story.)

Just in front of me in the Communion line were a couple of women with special needs. They were singing at the top of their voices, tunelessly but so, so beautifully. If only we all had the courage to sing for God without restraint. But so often we are self conscious. We draw back because we assume our voices aren’t very good. We wonder what others will think. But what does God think? I’m sure He was thinking those women’s voices were the most beautiful in the whole church, just like us.

The other night, Imogen took out her music book and my family sang a few Christmas carols together, while I filmed them. I thought I’d share one of those carols with you today. There’s no backing music. It doesn’t have a full blown professional quality to it. I hope you enjoy it all the same.

Imogen sings…

Praise Be to God in Heaven…

Merry Christmas! May God bless you and your families.

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Thank you Sue. You know, God has revealed to me that he blesses families with harmony in order to sing praises to Him. I believe it because while "a few of us" don't sound as good on our own, when we chime in together, it is very harmonic. May God continue to fill you and grant your hearts desire this Christmas.

    1. Reply

      Michelle,

      I hope you have enjoyed singing praises to God with your family this Christmas. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment at this very busy time of year. I pray you are having a very blessed Christmas. God bless you!

    • Wendy
    • December 26, 2013
    Reply

    How lovely! She has a beautiful voice! That's a carol I've never heard, and I liked it very much, thank you for sharing. My kids also have musical talents which they share with (and from) their Dad. To me it always seems quite miraculous! What a lovely gift to hear your children singing praise to God – it's a special joy, isn't it?!

    Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      Thank you for watching our video. There are so many very beautiful lesser known carols. Imogen sang this one at a pre-Christmas concert.

      I smiled when I read your words about your children sharing their talents with your husband. I bet we have similar feelings when we watch and listen to our families perform together. Yes, it is a special joy and I feel it's miraculous too. I know the sound my family is making has nothing to do with me. Unexpected gifts from God, I'm sure.

      I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas. God bless!

  2. Gosh, what a gift to be able to reach all those oh-so-high notes! I can only imagine how wonderful it feels to have a voice that is such an exquisite musical instrument!

    Thank you and Imogen so much for sharing this video. I'd love to see more of your family's music in due course if you feel so inspired!

    1. Reply

      Lucinda,

      Imogen has a very high range and I can't sing with her at all. I think I have a very limited range, a couple of notes up and a couple down! Imogen tells me if I relaxed and breathed better I'd sound better, but I don't have the confidence to make much of a sound.

      A good voice would be a wonderful instrument to have. Imogen can take hers anywhere, unlike her piano. And it can be shared with others. Singing really does bring people together.

      One of my favourite carols is "The Carol of the Bells". It's arranged for 4 parts. If I can persuade Callum to sing tenor (he's usually a bass) I might record a version…. just for fun! (Imogen sings soprano, Charlotte is an alto and Andy is a bass.) It's so kind of you to want to hear more of my family's singing. Thank you!

    2. Reply

      Lucinda,

      I am sure if you and I sang together it would sound wonderful. At least we'd think so! But there's no chance I will ever be making a video of me singing solo. Like you, I can't hold a tune when I'm singing alone!

    3. Ooh that sounds delightful! I'll look forward to that.

      My range is similar to yours, and while I can sing in tune if I'm following along, I struggle to hold a tune solo. I do enjoy singing in church, though!

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