An Easter Rehearsal

When Easter Sunday choruses fade, we must continue to rejoice. Christian joy is a practiced art. Like well-rehearsed music, it should be in our muscle memory—our natural disposition in times of gladness and sorrow.

A Bookish Charm

I know my feet are prone to slip, unsure,
     So I play it again: Alleluia. 
And I know my hands may strike without measure,
     So I play it once more: Alleluia. 
But, worst, I know my heart is yet impure,
     So I pray it again:
          Alleluia, Amen.

The organist and choristers know well
     The rehearsed rejoicing of that spontaneous swell,
For rhythms help to raise a practiced praise, 
     And so we once more play
     And once more pray:
          Alleluia, Alleluia, again—
          Alleluia, Alleluia,

- R. McLaren, Easter 2021

Although my soul craved to spend Holy Saturday in solemn silence, I spent much of it practicing the pedal lines of Easter hymns, which are notoriously tricky. Over and over again, I played an “Alleluia” refrain, attempting to wrangle my feet and fingers into coordinated submission. And I was frustrated with each repetition, with each phrase of praise. This exhausting practice…

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