Lenten Vigil 2003

After 2 months of practices and hard work, the Lord moved us with His spirit and willed us to minister through our music as we sang from 9-10pm on Maundy Thursday 17 Apr 03. Here’s a sharing by Genevieve on her experience that fateful night.

“With a heavy heart, I made my way to church, leaving behind stacks of readings yet to be read. Exams were in a week’s time and I was far from prepared. For a moment, I was tempted to call Michaela and say that the altos were going to be missing one member. That moment, thankfully, passed.

As we ran through the vigil songs for the final time, an hour before the actual, for want of a better word, presentation (I can still hear Mel telling us pointedly that this was NOT a presentation), I was asking God for the inspiration I knew I so badly needed. The songs were being sung mechanically and without an iota of feeling- for me at least. Formation had planned a 10- minute reflection prior to the vigil and I think I speak for most of us when I say that it was much appreciated. I guess it really did set the mood for what was to follow.

What a sight we must have made when we made our way into church- all decked out in black (or different variations of it). As Noel played us the first notes to our opening song,Steal Away, I quickly got into singing mode- good posture, breathing from the stomach etc and asked for the spirit to take over me.

Lent has always been solemnly special to me because it makes me re-evaluate my life and puts everything into perspective. In addition to this, Lent is the time that us university students are plagued by assignments and presentations, making us remember how much we need God in our lives to keep us sane.

For love is the kind of a kingdom, that changes the order of things. The greatest of you shall be servants of all, and the lowest of you shall be king.

Even if most of us haven’t experienced springtime, it’s easy to see why spring and Lent have always been closely associated (apart from the fact that Lent occurs during spring). Both seasons represent rejuvenation, and most importantly, change. It’s a great opportunity for us to grow in closer communion with God. As a choir, one way in which we can become closer to God is though our music. And the vigil is testament to our yearning for Him to play a more important role in our lives. My God in whom I trust speaks of the divine being whom we call ‘refuge’ and ‘fortress’. The last verse is especially meaningful as it tells us that God will ‘answer those who call [him] from within their trouble and need.’ On the other hand, Only your love is a wonderful song of surrender, every person’s wish to be able to say to the Lord, ‘Not my will but Yours be done’. These are words that are so easily uttered but which require a tremendous amount of faith- faith in someone that we cannot even see!

The Lenten Vigil aided in my being able to encounter God in a different way- through songs instead of words whispered hurriedly at bedtime. I have begun to recognize that I am loved unconditionally by my creator. He wants me to lift up all my insecurities and hopelessness, fear and discouragement to him so that He can transform me into a new person. Just as the cold dreariness of winter gives way to sprigs of green and sunshine in spring, I know that all unhappiness is transient because I have God in my life. Lent helps me fully understand this seemingly simple fact that I so often forget.”

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