Sunday, April 4, 2010
One of the sweetest stories my mother ever told me about her childhood was about a bird singing on Easter Sunday. In the church of my mother's childhood, Lent was very austere. No music, the crucifix was draped and as in today's church the Alleluia nor the Gloria was sung during Lent. Easter was and is celebrated on a large scale. The once dark, very somber church is decorated with all of the glories of spring. One year Easter fell late into April and it was already quite warm in south Mississippi. On Easter morning they celebrated Mass with the doors open to allow a breeze to blow through the crowded church. Mass started quietly with no entrance music but when it came time for the Gloria, the church erupted into loud music and song. At that precise moment a small bird that had settled in the rafters of the church broke into singing as well. I can hear my mother telling that story every Easter.
There weren't any birds singing inside the church this Easter, but I never sing the Gloria and not remember the story.
This version of the Gloria is a much more recent one, but it is one of my favorites.
Rejoice, the tomb is empty. Celebrate for we are an Easter people.