On Wednesday, I received a call to sub for a fellow cantor from church who was sick. She needed me for the Saturday mass and I told her, “No problem!” Upon calling the organist to let her know I would be singing instead and to ask when we could get together to practice, I found out she would also not be able to play that mass. I then called the Music Liturgy Director to let her know about the changes that were going on and to see who would be the organist for that mass. It turned out that no one was available so the director asked if I could do it a cappella. Luckily, I had already practiced with another organist for the 9:30am mass and was a little bit more prepared than the last time I ended up as an a cappella cantor (a story for another time.)
My fellow cantor called me this morning to ask about rehearsing for tonight. I let her know the situation and she remarked that God knew she would not be able to handle that and set up for me to be the cantor. I didn’t think much about it. Tonight, on my way to the church, I was feeling nervous and I prayed, “Lord, I am not strong enough, please give me your strength and support!” I arrived at the church and one of the first people I saw was the Music Liturgy Director’s daughter who was the sacristan for the evening (and also a flautist with a beautiful voice.) I put up the hymn numbers and then heard my phone buzzing. I took it outside and it was my fellow cantor again. She asked if I would like her to come be there for me as support. I answered rather non-committally (mainly because I really do have a hard time asking for help or showing weakness,) thanked her and hung up and went in to practice so I could hear the melodies in my head.
After practicing, I went into the vestibule to talk to the Deacon and apprise him of the lack of organist. I turned around and there was my friend and fellow cantor. Just seeing her made me feel better! We went back in the church to await the beginning of mass. More people were coming in and another fellow musician walked in for mass. I was finally starting to get the picture and feeling much less nervous!
Mass began and everyone sang! Everything was going well. Then, during the Offertory, I hear someone singing harmony! It was beautiful and I realized it was Father Dat, the visiting priest. Yet again, I was reminded that God is good.
All the way up to this evening, I thought I would be alone, standing out like a sore thumb up behind that lectern. That’s what I did wrong. I lost sight of the fact that nothing we do is “alone.” What I did right, was pray for strength and support. Don’t forget that He is the rock we should cling to…and with that in my heart, how can I keep from singing?