It was quite a weekend at church, hosting a diocesan gathering and then celebrating Music Sunday. We ended with a lunch and then a short musical about St Francis led by what – perhaps – may become a junior choir. Our Director of Music had taught them the music splendidly in record time, and they were great. But I say ‘led’ rather than performed …
Some time ago, I went to the Rocky Horror Show with our kids, and, for a sad person like me who has always frequented well-behaved classical concerts and operas, it was, shall we say. disquieting. Not because of the content (though that was an eye-opener), but because you were supposed to Take Part, even standing up in your seats.
Then there was the Dougie MacLean concert at the Albert Hall in Stirling. Sit back and listen to my favourite folk singer, I thought. Not a bit of it – we all joined in when allowed, and like most other people there, I discovered I knew the words already from CDs on long car journeys.
And St Francis the Musical? Well, there was a line sung by St Francis or Christ, then by his Companions (the children), and then by ‘ALL’. And we did sing – adult choir and mums and dads and the rest of us who were there to see what it would be like. Fantastic!
We had explored in the service beforehand the effect that music and singing has on you. And now we were able to enter into the story of St Francis rebuilding the Church – first with bricks and mortar, and then with joy and peace and love. We were there and we were one in the task.
I just wish we had done the St Francis musical at the diocesan gathering: it was exactly the message we were trying to absorb, and being led into singing it would have grafted it onto everyone’s hearts.