For the first time, I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! The concept is simple: Each day in April I’ll be blogging on a topic starting with the letter of the day, beginning with A and progressing to Z by the end of the month. Posts will be short and will relate to my chosen theme: my new coming of age story, Rightfully Ours, released April 1.
R is for Resurrection Choir
Have you ever heard of a Resurrection Choir? I’ve heard mention of it here and there over the past decade. It’s simply a volunteer choir whose members sing at church funerals. Sometimes, it’s at the request of the family of the deceased. In other cases, I think it is customary for every parish funeral Mass. (I say Mass because my experience is with Catholic churches, but it may be a ministry of other Christian churches as well.)
I pick up my two youngest children from preschool at about the same time funerals are scheduled in our parish. For some funerals, the parking lot is overflowing, with cars lined up and down the block for the procession to the cemetery. Other times, there are a few scattered cars in the lot and only a couple are sporting the funeral home flag designating their spot in the procession.
My oldest son is an altar server, and often is excused from classes to serve at Masses of Christian Burial. He’s served funerals for young people, old people, and those in between. Some deaths are sudden and tragic, others are peaceful and long-expected, but the one that he mentioned as being so sad stands out in my mind. It was one in which the man had outlived nearly all family and friends and only a few people were present.
I think that is when the Resurrection Choir is most meaningful. I mention it in the funeral that takes place in Rightfully Ours, specifically the poignant voices of the elderly choir members who sound as if they’re not too far from joining the deceased themselves! (After all, what group of people are most able to come out in the middle of the day on short notice? Retirees.)
How generous a service it is to assist at giving each person a proper send-off, so to speak. To be there when others cannot. To know that no person’s life passes from this world unnoticed or unacknowledged.
Have you heard of a Resurrection Choir?