Today was the Mass of The Ascension of the Lord. It was also the last Mass for the choir. Traditionally, this Mass marked the beginning of summer break, and the choir would reconvene in September.
But not so today. As far as we knew, today was the choir director's last day, and nobody had volunteered to take her place.
My husband and I were the newest members, and this was our second year with the St. John the Baptist choir. My husband had previously sung in a choir in LA and was familiar with much of the music, so he had a decently easy time of it.
I can't say the same for me. This time last year, I was grateful for summer break. The liturgy and music was overwhelming, and I was exhausted. But this year, I was more comfortable with what was going on, and looked forward to Sunday Mass.
This morning, I walked up the narrow winding steps to the tiny choir loft (worthy of a good case of claustrophobia), and pulled out my music from my cubby for the last time. After everyone arrived, we all crowded together around the electronic piano, warming up before the 10 o'clock Mass, same as always. Mass started, and nothing was different (including the crying baby chorus).
Finally, the last note I sang melted into the sunlight illuminating the stained glass windows, and mixed with the lingering aroma of incense. Mass was coming to an end, and so was our music. And so was our choir.
Next week, I will sit in the pews with everyone else. I will look up at those stained glass windows, and I'll remember that last note.