COVID restrictions did not stop the Parish of Coromandel Valley from celebrating the gift of music.
Congregations from St John’s Church Coromandel Valley and All Hallows’ Church Blackwood combined for a special Eucharist on 29 August with the Corowood Choir, with friends and family members in attendance.
The Church/Community Corowood Choir, directed by Jen Dickenson and accompanied by Warren Bourne, normally present three concerts a year of secular/sacred music.
Some of their sacred repertoire came into its own in this worshipful setting, with music ranging from Mozart’s Gloria from the Mass in C, to the spiritual ‘Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel’, and ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ to Howard Goodall’s Vicar of Dibley tune.
While some of the practices needed to be online, and all singing had to be with masks on, the messages came through loud and clear, as we sang the praises of God, through restrictions and difficulties.
“As human beings are constructed in the image and likeness of God, we can expect that there are depths and riches of our being that cannot be expressed in mere words”, said Locum Priest Martin Bleby. “It takes something like music to move us in those depths, and give full expression to those riches.”
“We praise You, we adore You, we bless You, we thank You for Your great glory—singing these very personal things to God is simply an acknowledgement of the way things are, when we see God shining out through the things God has made.”
We also thought of Jesus and his disciples singing a hymn (Psalm 118) as they went out into the night, to the place where Jesus was going to be abandoned by all of his friends, and handed over to his enemies, to be put to death (as in Matthew 26:26–32).
“When we know the deliverance that has come to us through that death and resurrection of Jesus”, Martin said, “then we can really start singing!” (as in Psalm 40:1–3).
And we heard, “When God looks at us, and sees how wonderfully God has made us, and what God is going to make of us, God sings over us a song of deep joy” (as in Zephaniah 3:17).