Death of a Choir Member
  • I just got off the phone with a long time bass from the parish choir who is dying from cancer. It was very quick from discovery to hospice. I still remember the last conversation I had in church with him where he complained of just feeling a little off.

    Since I have only been here for 3 years and we didn't talk much personally, I wasn't sure how to contact him to show my support. I knew I had to. (What else is there to say but, "I'm sorry," and how many times can one person hear that being said?) The member and I discussed his wishes for his Requiem mass. He, of course, had put much thought into this. He requested help from a former music director to which I gladly agreed The formed music director was beloved to the choir and currently directs the local community choir that many of my members attend. I thanked him for his years as a faithful bass and he thanked me and encouraged me in my work. I promised him we would provide beautiful music for his family at his funeral mass. I got off the phone realizing this will probably be the last time I ever speak with him. The moment felt very full. Maybe even sacred.

    Days ago we celebrated our Savior's birth. Today I plan a funeral. Tomorrow I meet with a wedding couple. We are driven nuts by this work at times, but we are also invited to taste of some of the sweetest and most painful moments of people's lives. Birth, life, marriage, death, feasts, faith. It's beautiful and bittersweet. And precious. Today sitting with these thoughts feels like a prayer and I give thanks to God for these gifts.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 508
    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's difficult when you lose a choir member whether you have been friends for a short time or for many years. I lost a good friend and fellow tenor a year ago in February. We'd been singing for over 40 years together.

    May God welcome home all the choir members we lost this year and all those from years past. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
    Thanked by 2Carol CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,146
    When we lose a choir member, I add the name to my online calendar so we can organise a first anniversary Requiem Mass, and hopefully Requiem on first hearing the news, and the 3rd, 7th and 30th days after death and burial.
    We organised a 10th Anniversary Requiem Mass a few years ago... As singers this is one of the best things we can do.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen CCooze JMJones
  • Maureen
    Posts: 667
    I think it would be very comforting to know that the funeral Mass will be "done right," and that your friends in the choir will be singing it. I have always found it a privilege to sing for funerals, and particularly for people whom I know.

    You know, it's doctrine that the angels and saints sing with us at Mass; so we are bound to have a lot of long-time invisible choir-mates to meet us when we go, assuming we go the right direction.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • I will pray for the peaceful repose of his soul. A while back one of my choir ladies died due to "covid" (or rather, she contracted covid which rapidly turned into double pneumonia, a hospitalization and swift death). She was over 80 and had asthma, but it was still a swift surprise. It's very odd to provide music for one of our own.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • May he rest in peace. I will pray for him.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw