Mother's Day in England is pretty much a non-event. That's because they celebrate 'Mothering Day' in March instead. I understand it began as homage to the 'mother church'. People would hold hands in a circle around the chapel (or cathedral?)....and on this weekend the servants were all allowed to return home to see their families. Did our holiday evolve from this beginning? Hmmm.
Well, this Mothers Day our Preston Ward had a small musical miracle that delighted my soul. It involved:
Sweet Eliza (left), a wonderful pianist,
April and James, a young married couple,
Sis. R., our Relief Society President,
and Brother H., the Ward music chairman.
The YW are going to sing in church in June (another great story) and Eliza had come early to church to practice her accompaniment. Then she began playing a simple hymn, and I sang along with her. I was soon aware that James had joined me. Then Sis. R.'s sister picked up the alto; Fred took the Tenor (What?). We were all commenting on how enjoyable it was. "Hey, why don't we sing it today?" (Sis. R.) "Are you serious??! "Sure. My sister's going home this week; she would love to sing with us today." (She agreed to join us herself!)
I convinced April to join us, Fred enlisted Bro. H., a wonderful singer, and they asked Bro. J., who was conducting, if there could be a musical 'offering' during the meeting. He agreed, and I prayed all through sacrament that it would sound all right so this wouldn't be a mistake. Our ward has needed a real boost in spirit, and music will do that!
The number was announced, we all got up and sang, (Nearer My God To Thee) and it sounded just fine. Bro. J. smiled, 'Well, it looks like we now have a ward choir!' But that was just the beginning of the great happening. During Sunday School, Siti (our wonderful Thai convert) turned to me and said, 'I sing, too'. Someone volunteered that this pretty single girl, Cass, has a lovely voice. Our French Elder, Elder Caner even offered his voice. It was like being in one of those old Judy Garland movies where the gang gets together and says, 'Hey, I've got an idea.'
The ward is FULL of music. Who knew?! It feels like they've just been waiting for an opportunity to blend their voices! The only problem with a ward choir is that if all those additional people come up to sing, there will be about ten people left in the congregation! Our numbers have been so sparse lately that it's a little scary. But this could really help turn things around. I've seen music do that. Anyway, it was a wonderful moment that felt like a light going on in the room.