Monday, July 2, 2012

The Internal Score

After a week of nearly uninterrupted singing, one's interior "soundtrack" changes. This morning at the airport, the musak overhead has no power to keep my mind from running over the chant hymn tune from Compline. Other songs dwell in me now, including a number of Kyries.

St. Paul said "Pray always, and never lose heart." As Dr. Mahrt mentioned in his talk, Cassian of old recommended the Psalm verse opening dialogue for the Office as a means of praying always: "O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me." We who are singers have another way to pray always. Having rehearsed a song at length, it takes very little effort to keep it in mind.

The older brother of one of my young chanters complained to me about his little brother's constant singing around the house. V for Victory! An eleven year old boy singing the Salve Regina is a boy at prayer, whether he know it or not. And this prayer may continue throughout his life, because a child who learns a song will not easily forget it.

When he lay dying, St. John of the Cross requested his favorite song, The Song of Songs, the love song of the Bible. In my final hours, and all the days the Lord grants till that day, may I, may we all, remember to sing a Kyrie without ceasing.