I just made Richard’s day by pulling up an Advent Sunday service for him off the BBC. Made my own day, too, when a Welsh male choir let go with gusto on my absolute favourite hymn. It’s pretty tough to ruin that one as both tune and words are so stirring. But when it’s done right, as it was during this service, I find it remarkably hard to breathe. Takes awhile for the goosebumps to subside after, too. When I was short, I knew it as “Guide me, O thou great Redeemer”, but of course it should really be Jehovah, not Redeemer. Methodists are a funny bunch over here and apparently the “J” word couldn’t be used as it might corrupt one’s mind. Think J.W.s and you’ll get the idea. Like I said, Methodists are a funny bunch. Great hymns, mind you, but funny ideas about certain things.
Anyhoo, I don’t go to church now as I had to quit attending church in order to keep believing. Still have a fondness for the one I knew in my formative years, but any that I’ve been in since just left me cold. That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to the masses, but it does to me. But, I was raised in the church, and had a fairly long stint in the choir in my youth. So, while I don’t miss a lot of what is wrong with the established churches in this day and age, I do still miss “making a joyful noise” sometimes. And certain joyful noises, like the one I heard this evening, still stir me to the core of my being.
I’m not contemplating shuffling off into the great beyond any time soon. But when I do leave this mortal coil, that particular hymn is going to be the most requisite part of the big sendoff. Ideally a Welsh male choir would make the journey over this way for the occasion, but I suppose that it might be a bit hard to find volunteers. One branch of the family tree leads back to Wales, but I doubt that that will give me much pull. So, home town organist and choir it will have to be and, by jove, they had better do it right or else! We were blessed with an organist in my youth who knew how to make the organ rattle and hum, unlike the tiddly cocktail lounge crap that seems to be the style over here these days. So, I know what that instrument out there can do. If the organist doesn’t pull out all of the stops, and the congregation and choir don’t make the windows shudder with the power of their combined voices, I’ll come back and haunt the lot of them. I mean it.