Saturday, August 27, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Sr Margaret Timothy and Sr Donna practice their duet for tonight's concert.
The whole community pitches in for these things.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful (actually, the New England forecast is much improved!)... but our Christmas concert plans are still on for tonight. In fact, the 10-man video crew is setting up equipment right now in our ultra-air-conditioned chapel. (It has to be extra cold in there because the audience will be wearing winter clothes in the summer heat!) We singers have to be on hand at 3:00 for a tech check (our head mikes will "feed" both to the chapel speakers, for the audience, and to the video studio truck outside, where a pro will monitor and mix the inputs individually), and a "real" dress rehearsal at 4:30 (the cameras will be running); we return for the "real" fake Christmas concert at 8:00.

The video team was happy to see that the concert is more on the lines of a "show" than of a traditional choral concert. Think "Glee" without the costumes (or the subtext!). This kind of entertainment is really not as inconsistent with religious life as it may seem to people "outside": it's quite along the lines of the community recreations we had in novitiate. On feast days, a group of sisters would put on little (or sometimes elaborate) skits for the larger community. When I was a novice, there were several groups putting on these skits (the postulants offered one, then the novices and then the juniors--the more senior members made up the audience for all three). We still recall the highlights (some of those skits were masterpieces of wry humor!). The difference now is that we have a "real" audience, and the whole community is involved in one way or another. Sr Mary Lea has been preparing cookie trays; Sr Linda, Sr Marlene and Sr Edward Marie decorated chapel (not an easy matter, finding Christmas trees in August); other sisters are coordinating the parking, greeting, and other logistical issues. (All I have to do is show up for the practice on time.)

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