So many of my favorite moments involve singing. Joining in a loud duet with Bruce on “Born to Run” on the car radio with the windows down. A sing-along around a fire on a summer night. That first “alleluia” at the Easter Vigil. (This year’s installment at my parish was especially festive: incense-disturbed fire alarms got in on the action, beginning and ending their bombast in perfect time with the acclamation.) One of my favorite theologians, Walter Brueggemann, points to Isaiah 42:10 as a key moment in Scripture: “Sing to the Lord a new song.” After the quiet grief of Lent and Good Friday, Easter’s victory of life over death energizes us empowers us to sing again.
One of my friends gave up music for Holy Week. After the Easter Vigil, she said, excitedly, she was going to turn on the radio. My parish did something similar throughout the Lenten season, singing sparingly throughout liturgies before pulling out all the stops on Saturday night.
Sunday night, with my brother on piano and me on guitar, we had a singalong with Gen and my sister, celebrating the joy of the family reunited in one place, which happens less and less frequently as we grow older. The sense of unity and celebration and breathing fresh life into a normally quiet house seemed quite Easterly.
The PS 22 Chorus from New York City has shot to stardom, including a performance on this year’s Grammy Awards. Their spirit and clear love of what they’re doing shines through, whether in front of an audience of millions or in their own classroom.
So take some time this Easter to sing a new song unto the Lord, enlivened by the joy of the risen Christ. If God gave you a great voice, sing loudly to thank him for that voice. If he gave you a crummy voice, sing even louder to get even!
What are your favorite memories of singing? Belt ‘em out in the comments section (to the tune of a popular song, please).