Ordained by God

In those days life seemed simple, everything was ordained by God. The seasons, the trees, reproduction, the fact that I was at Roe Head and my family was over 60 miles away on a Council Estate in Liverpool was all God’s will. I might not have liked it or even understood it but God had a plan and I was part of it.

Today my life is complicated by logic and reason; that is until I hear a choir sing Latin hymns. Last week my daughter sang with the Scottish Youth Choir in Perth Concert Hall. When the 60 strong girls’ Choir gave a glorious rendition of “Tantum Ergo” I was back in the Chapel with the stained glass window in front of me and the Conductor, Christopher Bell, had become Father Cerea. To this day I remain a sentimental fan of Choral music.  Although I insist on having an atheist funeral, if anyone could organise 60 boys from the ages of 12-17 with a voice range of mezzo  soprano to bass, then have them sing “Salve Regina” and, if possible please before I die, to hear it sung once more I feel sure would create a perfect happiness in me.

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2 responses to “Ordained by God

  1. Tony your last posting certanly brought the memories flooding back.
    I remember choir selection, the nerves as you entered the room to face Cerea[small bald and insignificant in stature but fearsome in reputation].He would hammer out the scales as you tried you best to follow higher and higher until you reached your limit,then lower and lower.You would then be dismissed with a cursory”soprano or contrato or words to the effect that you were of no use to him.
    This selection process would leave him with a first class choir and a band of boys that beileved they could not and never would be able to hold a note. However to hear the boys singing in the chapel was indeed a memory that will stick with us all.I can always remember little Grodeki ? leading us in with his angelic pitch perfect voice.
    On a final note I once took my in-laws to Melrose abbey,when we lived in Scotland, and finding myself alone in the crypt, with brilliant acoustics,I sang Salve Regina when I turned around after my rendition there were huge applause as the entire contents of a tour bus had decended on the crypt and had been standing silently by while I had relived some of my Mirfield memories

  2. Hi Tony
    I was probably a year or two ahead of you (65-70) but certainly remember Cerea, not to mention Valmaggia (another story).

    I remember entering the old house on some errand or other and passing by his door. I think he had an old pump organ in there, which he would play, but on this occasion, I was rooted to the spot as I heard the sound of an old man crying, wailing and sobbing. Maybe he was remembering his Mama but I could never believe in his strict as iron persona after that. I do remember chocolate on St Cecilia’s Day though.

    John Kane

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