At Mass yesterday, I was struck by how terrific the congregational singing is at my parish. I was seated next to a man who was singing as energetically as was I. I chuckled a few times when the music itself moved into the upper voice range. The man simply dropped his voice an octave and didn't miss a beat in the process. It's great to sing at Mass and not feel like you are the only one singing with gusto.
This reminded me of my Dad. When we were kids, my parents would take all six of us to Sunday Mass. And, truth be told, my Dad was a person who sang at Mass with gusto. And he was the only one who did so. I reflect back with embarrassment now when I think about how awkward I felt at those Masses standing next to my Dad. I was so self-conscious—that people were staring at us because he sang so loudly. I remember children turning around and looking at him as he sang. I also remember saying to myself, "Why can't he just sing softer, or not sing at all, like everybody else?" It brings a smile to my face now, of course, as well as a tremendous sense of gratitude for the example my Dad set for me. When I am at Mass—either at St. James or elsewhere—I sing with gusto. And now I am the one who gets the looks from others around me, especially children. Isn't it amazing how we change with time? Here I am—the guy who used to cringe because my Dad sang with gusto—now leading a Catholic music publishing company and writing a blog that is entitled Gotta Sing Gotta Pray!
God is good. Music is such a great gift. My Dad's a great gift to me. Hope your week is a blessed one. Let's remember in prayer all our friends on the Gulf Coast bracing for Ida.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.