“They were singing?”  They did not know I heard them.  At least, I am fairly certain they did not want me to hear them.  I acted like I did not hear them.  I passed them wearing my clerical, carrying a bunch of hymnals, with my communion kit on my shoulder.  I passed them as they were sitting in a group near the front door.  They were talking amongst themselves.  They were apparently listening to what we were doing.  Not that that would have been difficult with as loudly as I tend to sing.

I did not hear what was spoken before or after.  I only heard, “they were singing?”  I can imagine there were other thoughts and comments.  “They are singing here?”  I did not hear any of this but it is not a long leap of logic.  In the place we were singing I would imagine there is very little singing.  I would imagine there are many people there who have little reason to sing.  Even those who confess to have great reasons to sing, still there is little singing.  We were in Serenity House.  Serenity House is the local Hospice House.

Yes, we WERE singing.  We were not only singing but celebrating.  In the face of certain death we were singing, chanting, and celebrating the Lord’s Supper.  Strange?  Yes, I imagine that would be.  I believe it is.  Good.  I imagine the strangeness of the Sacrament is something we have not considered in a while.  The Sacrament is comfortable and the same.  Easy and safe, ours to do with as we please, the Sacrament is wrangled down in the minds of the people as the usual mode of the 2nd and 4th Sundays Worship service.  However, when you celebrate and sing in the midst of a house of death, the Sacrament echoes its strangeness.  “They were singing?”

INDEED!  We were singing, celebrating, and eating in the face of death.  And we can do that.  We can do that just as surely as Jesus asked Mary like the Angels before Him, “Why are you crying?”  But, the question before us was, “They were singing?  Why are they singing?”  Why are you not singing?  When death is the end and all there is, there is no singing.  When we fear death and pain to the point of closing it up in special homes and removing it from daily life, there is little to sing about I would imagine.  But, we were singing, celebrating, and eating together in the face of certain death.  Strange?  Yes, to a World, nation, and people whose lives are dictated and formed by the fear of death we sing to the victory over our enemies and proclaim death, Christ’s Death, until he comes.  Sadly though, the fear of death seems to be shaping and forming much of what even we the church might be doing, and thinking, and celebrating, and singing.