Friday, May 20th, 2016
A great friend of mine – and someone well connected to the work of the Folk Choir – is Dr. Jerry Galipeau at World Library Publications. A few weeks ago, for the Emerald Anniversary of the Choir, Jerry made some comments at our opening banquet.
And what he said really, really resonated with me.
“The music we sing,” he said, “is an act of hospitality.”
Over the course of this very special week in Edinburgh, one cannot help but be amazed, over and over again, at the acts of welcome that have been shown us. These acts have been large and small – the soliciting of snacks for the choristers to eat while they’re venturing around the city; the opening up of rooms for students to live in (no small feat when it’s a five-night stay); the endless cups of tea and digestive biscuits; the cheery “you’re very welcome” that comes out of the parish kitchen, morning after morning and after every mass and workshop gathering.
I think, though, that the hospitality has worked both ways: that while parishioners have been opening up their homes to us, we too have been unlocking doors into hearts by offering up our sacred song.
I’ve been formed by Holy Cross spirituality for 35 years. It is a unique blend of many elements: devoted to a life of service, understanding sacrifice, not being afraid of evangelical opportunities. But a great hunk of their spirituality stresses the gift of welcome. It was epitomized by their first saint, André Bessette. And it continues on in the writings and actions of the community to this day.
Hospitality works both ways – the open doors of these beautiful parishioners in Scotland is one facet of the mystery. And for us in the Folk Choir, the other is illustrated by how we can open doors, open hearts, and unlock voices through our song.