Saturday, August 21, 2010

Heaven and Earth Resound The Hymn

Having been in music ministry for many years, I've noticed that some people do like the catchy new hymns once in a while, but they rally around the old hymns like a battle cry.

Take last summer as a for-instance. I was musical director on a 3-day weekend retreat for women. The attendees ranged in age from their twenties to well into their seventies. Aside from Mass, there are several opportunities for singing built into the weekend. I used a variety of music ranging from traditional to contemporary. At one of these moments during the weekend, these women were absolutely singing their hearts out. They all sounded like giddy little girls. They were on their feet, clapping and singing their hearts out, not to one of the contemporary songs, but to HAIL, HOLY QUEEN.

One woman, one of the older women, approached me and said, "Gina, you've made me feel like a little girl again." I thought it was sweet of her to say, and thanked her for her kind words. The depth of what she told me next, though, I absolutely did not expect.

She went on to share with me that she was born in England, and that she was a child when the Nazis bombed London. While she was in a bomb shelter with her family and as many people as possible, they would keep themselves together by singing hymns. I don't mean just a little singing to keep them calm. Sure, that might have been how it started, but soon they were singing out as loud as they could at those planes flying overhead. It was the only way they knew how to fight, and they sang those bombers away.

What a gift God gave me through that woman.


Robin Marie Therese said...

Wonderful post! I worship a lot through music! I absolutely love music, growing up with a song leader for a mother (she still is a song leader) and I love to sing to the kids!

Gina said...

I totally believe what St. Augustine said about music: that when you sing you pray twice.

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