Message to Walter on his 25th Anniversary as Choir Director of HTOC.
September 25, 2011
Thinking about your twenty-five years at the Cathedral, I am reminded of the simple but profound words of the late Metropolitan Antony Bashir; “A parish without a choir is like a body without a soul.”
What makes our parish a community rooted in prayerful celebration is due to the invaluable offering made by the choir under your watchful and caring direction. The music you have cultivated, arranged and taught to the choir has indeed given Holy Trinity Cathedral a prayerful soul that holds together our community in a bond of mutual love. It is the prayerful soul instilled by you and the choir that permeates the life of the parish transforming it into a living symphony of unity in diversity and diversity in unity.
During these twenty-five years I have enjoyed watching you hone your skills as a church musician who has accounted for your comprehensive knowledge of the Typikon and its variations. Together we have worked hard to allow the Church’s liturgical tradition to be, as Father Alexander Schmemann loved to stress, an epiphany of the Kingdom. Our respective ministries and responsibilities have developed into a symphony of common vision and purpose. What a personal joy to concelebrate with a choir director who loves the services and understands them as being the means through which the Gospel is proclaimed and revealed.
Because of your love for the services and your insistence on singing with one voice, the Cathedral choir has cultivated a unique sound that draws attentive listeners into the mystery of the sung word. Entering this mystery we who con-celebrate the services as one chorus encounter, through the Spirit, the pre-eternal Word of God who presides over our synaxis and who leads us to offer with the sung word praise and thanksgiving to our Father. The words of Clement of Alexandria perfectly express this reality:
The union of many, which the divine harmony has called forth out of a medley of sounds and division, becomes one symphony, following the one leader of the choir and teacher, the Word… crying out Abba, Father.
God’s blessings upon you, Leslie, Elizabeth and Nicholas.