Monday, October 28, 2013

Chior (for Choir)

When I was a young Episcopalian, I sang in the junior choir, something I really enjoyed. Hymns, psalms, and other sacred things were pleasant enough to sing, and we all basically worshipped, as it were, our somewhat delicate and dedicated choir director, who was also a very talented composer and musician. We would try and get there early on Sundays, but more likely be late and have to hurry down the broad stone steps to the rehearsal room in the church basement, where we would hurriedly don these long rustling robes and white pinafores, plucked from among a scattered pile of leftovers pulled out of the closet. (The Episcopal Church is rather like the Catholic one, albeit with a little less in the costume department; the billowing black and white outfit made me feel a bit like a nun or a wizard of sorts, or perhaps a Parisian painter in an oversized smock. Or more to the point, I guess, like one of the little angels we were all supposed to be.) We would line up quietly, holding our songbooks out in front of us, and snake our way around the cavernous nave, past the parishioner-filled pews, and finally up into the chancel itself. Closer to the altar and communion rail, closer to the towering pipe organ, the wavering candlelight and wafting incense, and the thrilling voices of the grown-up chorus. Closer, it seemed, to God Himself. After the service was over, we would stream out in another solemn processional, change back into little kids in our Sunday best, and join the throng in the large meeting hall, where we were blessed with what I could swear on a stack of Bibles are still the most delicious deep-fried plain and powdered-sugar jelly donuts I've ever known. Washed down with a perfect steaming cup of creamy hot chocolate. Bon app├ętit and amen, brother! Chior (for choir) was found seven times in OhioLINK, and 118 times in WorldCat.

(Springfield in Wartime: Everyday Life in An Essex Village, August 1941, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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