A thought for the Feast of Saint Cecilia - 22 November

Singing out Loud


"But they that held through winter to the spring

Despair as I do and as I do, sing."


Isn't the human singing voice a beautiful thing! And aren't those who possess beautiful singing voices truly divinely gifted! I've heard a choir whose rich, powerful soaring sound convinced me that God, too, must surely be able to sing. I've heard a woman sing a love song in a voice as pure as the first dawn and it made me feel sure that the world is lit softly, constantly, from within. I've heard a child lost in play sing a sweet song of his own making, and the air about him was charged with evidence of the Divine. And the songs that we sing! We take our experience of pain and sadness, loss and grief, and we sing that experience back to God, wrapped in a beautiful melody. We take our joys, our loves, our wonders and delights, and sing them exultantly to the heavens. We sing out loud our fun, our mischief, our irreverence.

We sing because life is a wonderful gift, all the more wonderful because we must lose it. We sing our pain and our delight, our madness and our sweet calm; our hearts beat out the rhythms; our souls compose the lyrics. We sing because what is deepest and best within us needs to pour forth our wonder and awe before the terrible beauty of life - and we know that God, to paraphrase the great Indian poet, Rabindarath Tagore, respects us when we work, but he loves us when we sing.