Alleluia, He is risen! We sang all about it yesterday. And it was wonderful.
Our parish schedules an extra Mass on Easter to accommodate the expected crowds. The rest of the schedule is shuffled a bit so that the larger of the two church buildings has the majority of Masses, which makes sense, because you need to fit more people. Our folk group was playing at the little church at 10 AM. There hasn't been a 10 AM Mass at the little church in almost 4 years. So I was a little curious about how well-attended it would be. Would people forget? After all, my husband would have headed over to the big church if I hadn't reminded him that we were singing at the little church. He'd have found a Mass there too, because both churches had a 10:00--but he wouldn't have found us.
It was a full house--and more--in the choir area, because it was a full house--and more--in the church. My husband and mother-in-law couldn't get seats in the pews, so they sat with us. So did Big Brother, who didn't have a guitar at home to play (and regretted that, at the last minute). Middle Sister was serving, of course. The folk group showed up in force, except for one member who was visiting faraway family. Best problem in the world to have: not enough seating for all the musicians and singers. Fortunately, our church has these great "window seats" in the choir area. At least 10 people had to use them; all 15 chairs were taken.
And we made our joyful noise. It feels SO GOOD to lift your voice in "Alleluia" and "Glory to God" after all this time. This group has a long tradition of singing "All Good Gifts" on Easter (the Godspell version) and though you might think of it as better suited to Thanksgiving, it works for Easter so well: Easter Mass is all about celebrating, and thanking God, for the enormous and extravagant gift of love, shown through Jesus and His sacrifice.
Even better, we were permitted to sing our very favorite piece: the Lord's Prayer. It's a hallmark of our group, but one that we were asked to stop singing when the parishes merged. A couple of times during Lent, the pastor (who asked us not to sing it anymore) allowed us to sing it. People love it. It's right up there with "Amazing Grace" in the Raise the Roof and Sing Along Factor. And our associate pastor loves it, because it eliminates the whole "barrel through the Lord's Prayer" thing that is his personal pet peeve.
Our associate pastor has been stationed here for more than 7 years, and I think I've seen him actually sing maybe twice in all that time. Yesterday, he sang along with the Lord's Prayer too.
When we finish the Lord's Prayer, we all get the same feeling: we have Been To Church. We have PRAISED.
I got a big basket full of chocolate and sugar for Easter, but the music was definitely a better gift, because it helps me remember the greatest gift.