Well, that was…interesting. Tearing up in full sight of everyone in the middle of church. Though mostly unnoticed, apart from the mum walking next to me, up the aisle.
Oh dear. Some hymns are happy, some sad…and some just hit the right mix of happy-sadness to have me blubbering away, even mid-mass. For some reason, it tends to be the spring and easter ones that do that more than the Christmas or mid-year stuff.
And today felt like the organist and choir organiser cum Mistress of our song selection just had it in for me. It began with the “presentation of the gifts”, which is the bit where us parents get to escort our children down the church to hand over whatever earnest scribblings they have committed to paper in Sunday school – and hope they have done nothing to embarrass.
The boy, sadly, invited to do any form of illustration on a religious theme usually chooses to introduce weapons of mass destruction. Noah’s Ark – with bombs raining down nuclear oblivion in the background.
Simple parables – with added machine gun fights: a crucifixion, jets zooming overhead. Not exactly subtle – or unexpected – though I remain puzzled as to the precise role that Daleks played in the New Testament narrative.
Still, as we stepped into church today, the simple, simple melody of Gerard Markland’s “Do not be afraid” started up and I knew I wouldn’t hold it together all the way down the aisle.
My voice cracked about half a dozen steps in…then I was crying and keeping my head down into the hymn book as we went. Good tears, though. Cleansing.
Though they seem to have set me off a bit, because later I felt myself going (again) during a sung “agnus dei” – which I also love for its minor key grandness – and then one last time with the exit hymn (“walk with me”). The latter really shouldn’t. It’s a nice enough tune, but one I’ve always reckoned more appropriate to sitting on top of a hurdy-gurdy than any sort of deep emotion.
Ah well…Easter approaches, and with it a fair few more tear-jerkers. I shall pack extra tissues next Sunday.