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.
Praise Be to God in Heaven…
Merry Christmas! May God bless you and your families.