Last week we sang the Adoramus Te, written by former Director of Music Keith Noake, father of the choir’s very own and much-loved Jenny and Rosie. Last week was the anniversary of his death, and so we celebrated the legacy he gifted us with. October saw us quietly noting the year’s mind of our friend and fellow chorister Kelvin. Both names were mentioned, with countless others of those we still love, at our recent All Souls’ requiem, and we remembered with gratitude that those we loved on earth continue to love and pray for us. We remembered at All Souls’, and then again when we celebrated All Saints’, that we are united with those who came before us, and with all created souls alive today. We are reminded that in the love of the Creator – despite all that our world is going through – we are one body and one spirit. The faith has continued through the darkest of times, and will continue until we too are united with the communion of saints, beyond our earthly life. We are linked, one family, with all those who lived and died in the faith. This is what we remember at All Saints’. The community of saints, alive and dead, will always be praying, always showing the love of God in the world. As we sing, they sing with us. And they pray with us, and we are never lonely in our faith.
This week is the feast of Christ the King. We call to mind Jesus’ victory over death, his reign of humility and service. We remember that he will restore all things to unity, and that the force of his love will triumph over every darkness. One of the wonderful things about a high feast is the music we get to sing. This morning we sang the music of another saint: Haydn finished his Missa Brevis in F in 1805, over fifty years after he originally put pen to paper with its first ideas, and was dead four years later. But just as Keith Noake did some hundred and fifty-odd years later, Haydn left us this musical legacy, to point to the Divine, to help us to pray, and to join us in the expression of faith with all who have gone before us. We remember that in Christ the King, we are united in love, and that the Source of love, who gives us the gift of music, unites and surrounds us all.
If you missed it this morning, it was really good music – and the two soprano soloists were excellent. But there’s good music tonight too – the choir will see you all there!