On the first day of Christ– WAIT! Can I dial it back a few hours? Just until about 6pm on Christmas Eve…
I was tired. Emotionally and physically exhausted. I’ve run the gamut of emotions over the past 6 weeks or so and it had reached its climax around Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve Eve!
This left me feeling utterly devoid of “Christmas Spirit” right up until I had to attend the first of two Masses on Christmas Eve. I was to be the cantor at 6pm Mass. I would need to sing clearly. Proclaiming (in song) the Word of the Lord. This is a very special and trusted ministry and one which I do not take lightly. So for me to enter to the prayer space with a lump in my throat from my the welled up emotion and trying to choke back tears was not an ideal situation.
A few quiet words from a trusted friend…the mother of a very talented young man who will no doubt read this…and I was on my way to feeling better.
As Mass began with O Come All Ye Faithful I felt a calm wash over me and my tiredness was gone and was replaced with a feeling of hope and love. I sang as well as I think I ever have.
This Mass was followed by another. Festival of Carols at 8pm which transitions seamlessly into Mass at 8.30pm. This was the first year that I was solely responsible for directing the Festival of Carols…not just the music (which I do all the time anyway) but the entire thing from lighting to readings to the placement of candles on a table. I had a strange feeling about it all. Right up to the last minute I was still not sure it was all going to come together but I wasn’t panicked or overly stressed. It would work or it would not. The world would not end on account of its success or failure.
I let go.
I let God.
Trusting that nothing would really go so wrong as to destroy the space-time continuum, I relaxed into the event and enjoyed my role as conductor.
I have played piano/organ for 35 years, been a music minister for just shy of 22 years, a choir conductor (on and off) for 12 years and a music coordinator for 6 years. I have conducted the Festival of Carols (music only) for 3 years and this 4th year I did it all…
It was the best we have ever done.
I was and am still so very proud of the choir. I had 16 singers and 2 musicians. We were all attuned to what was going on and to each other. I couldn’t fault them one little bit. We received a resounding round of applause at the end of Mass andI felt my spirit soar.
My heart was filled once more with pride and hope. I let go of those negative thoughts which had beset me for the past few weeks and I allowed my heart to be opened up to love and joy. Goodwill, even!
So to return to the beginning of this post…
On the first day of Christmas I was blessed with hope.
I enjoyed a day spent with family and friends. Near and far. Virtually and IRL.
I could not have enjoyed the day at all had it not been for the experience of the breaking of my heart. Opening it to receive the love and joy that has always surrounded me but I was too closed to feel it.
For that, I would like to wish you all broken hearts. Let the love in.
Merry Christmas to you all, you beautiful, treasured friends.