I went to Catholic grade school. For eight years, I went to church every Friday and every Sunday morning. I wouldn't say I loved going to church, but absolutely one of my favorite parts was singing. One of my teachers used to tell me that singing was like double praying. I think she just said that to get people to sing, but it always stuck in my head. Even to this day, when I'm in church singing, I think of that.
Yesterday we went to a funeral for a dear friend's mother. The woman who sang the music was absolutely amazing. The piano player and flutist were also extraordinary. The celebraiton of this 93-year-old woman's life could not have been more fitting and more awe inspiring. From her 7 kids and their families to the musical jubilee that we sent her off into heaven with, it was fantastic. I know she was smiling from above.
We also sang one of my favorite songs in the Catholic church which correllates to one of my favorite parts of the Bible: the Beatitudes. I'm not overly religious, but what I love about the beatitidues is that you don't have to be. They are about living life, and how living reflects living. You can certainly take them religiously, but on a broader meaning, you can also apply them to whichever faith you follow. To me, they are calming and reassuring.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10