Saturday, January 23, 2016
Sing 'em out
Besides regular choir work I participate in the Requiem Choir at my church, often as Cantor. I like to think that everyone should be 'sung out' when their time comes and so I take great satisfaction from participating in this act of community.
The other day we had a huge funeral for a very successful man who grew up in Owen Sound, owned many private businesses across Canada, but never forgot his roots.
The antique truck in the photo above is from one of his many Canadian paving businesses, started in the 1970s and now operating in over 40 cities. The truck was part of the funeral procession.
I was pleased to be Cantor for this service, though admit a bit intimidated upon finding out the family had hired professional video and sound crews.
It's nice, when canting, to look out over a packed house.
It's not always thus.
I remember one funeral where there was only one person in attendance - a nurse from the home where the deceased resided. I was particularly glad the Requiem Choir was there.
The packed crowd the other day also reminded me of a funeral a few months back. The choir director sent a message asking choir members to sit in the front pews instead of the usual position in the loft at the rear of the church - this because they feared empty pews.
The guy who died had dealt with alcohol problems most of his life, but in later years had managed to get his demons under control. He was very poor - lived in a run down small trailer out of town, and did odd jobs whenever he could to get by. The church became an important part of his life and and he became an usher.
Long story short - the church was packed. And more, some of the ushers had passed that hat to raise enough money to engage a funeral home to do things up 'right'.
Billionaire. Pauper. Sing 'em all out!