Monday, April 26, 2010
Standing and Kneeling
Some years ago we were members of a church in Alabama that, at the time, was running well over 300 on Sundays. They had a choir of about fifty, and the choir sang specials both for the Sunday morning and the Sunday night services. On Sunday mornings we would file in from the rooms on the side of the platform, but we were a little more informal on Sunday nights.
About five minutes before the service started, choir members started trickling up into the choir loft from the auditorium. They would just come up on the platform and quietly take their seats. Then when the service was supposed to start, the pianist would finish the prelude and play the introduction to an "opener", a short song or chorus that the choir sang to open the service.
I was running late, as usual, (some things never change!), but I was headed up to the choir loft when someone in the first pew stopped me to ask me a question. Suddenly I realized the pianist was playing the introduction to the opener. I was right there at the front of the church, so I could easily hurry up the platform steps and slip into my place in the choir in time to start singing.
On the second step into the loft, I tripped. I tried to regain my balance, but to my horror I actually ended up falling to my knees on the step, and my momentum even made me fall forward and I had to catch myself with hands. As the intro ended and the choir was supposed to start singing, there I was on my knees on the stairs with my rear end in the air, waving at the congregation.
I bounced back up quickly, but the damage was done. The choir completely lost it. They tried to sing, but most of them were too busy laughing. The music director laughed so hard he actually had tears rolling down his face.
Yesterday morning, I was talking to a visitor near the front of the auditorium when I realized our choir was moving into position. I turned and hurried up the stairs to slip into my place. "Whew!" I murmured quietly to the lady next to me. "Last time I tried that I ended up flat on my face with my rear end in the air."
And once again I was in the middle of a choir that was laughing so hard they had trouble singing. Who knew voices could carry that way?