A thrill of hope: Chorale Joy
Singing in St. Paul Chorale is a gift that keeps on giving.
Chorale is rehearsals with friends, Dr. Nathan Windt’s jokes, Chris Nelson’s entries and exits (because he’s playing for multiple choirs) and good solid direction on anthems carefully selected to compliment the Bible readings and liturgical calendar. There always seems to be one or more anthems that makes a home in my head, and repeats itself from Wednesday to Sunday. One blessed characteristic of Chorale is that it is there for us twice a week.
Every anthem is special, whether in English, Latin or German; each contributes to the worship service. It is a thrill to be among talented adults, many music majors or life-long choral singers. I admire confident soloists, vocally or with instruments—Ann on flute, Dortha on violin, Ben on clarinet.
All Sundays are special, but there are some services where we sing several anthems: Good Friday, A Service of Lessons and Carols and the last Sunday of our year come to mind.
A Service of Lessons and Carols is my favorite. We sit in the front where we can look out at the congregation, and our daughters sit there together, home for the family celebrations. The service opens with “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” followed by a Christmas blessing and a familiar Carol. The program is balanced perfectly with carols, lessons, and anthems.
Then it’s time for “Silent Night.” Members of Chorale take their candles and split in opposite directions, creating a circle of love around the sanctuary. The overhead lights dim, and we light the candles, passing the gift of light from one person to the next.
This is the moment of hope for me, as voices raise in the candlelight with a thrill of hope for the holidays, and for the year to come. The joy of the season is a celebration of all that Chorale members do to share their talents in worship all year long. It is through faith and music that we are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” -Titus 2: 13
Connie Heckert taught for more than 20 years on the college level and has 14 published books to her credit, ranging from 32 to 232 pages with photos and captions. She loves singing the high As and has been a Chorale singer off and on since 1978 when she and John joined St. Paul.