At 8:15 p.m., I was sitting in a hard metal folding chair in the parish hall. I didn’t feel good. Christian didn’t feel good. Nicholas didn’t feel good, and was past his bedtime. He was wiggling on my lap, desperate to nurse and go to sleep. The choir members were flipping through their hymnals. And Christian, as Christian does when he’s not focused, was noodling on the piano. Playing “One Bread, One Body” in ¾ time. “Okay, folks,” he said, “let’s do this.”
“Hon,” I said, “you’re playing it in three.”
“Oh.” He switched styles.
“You’re still playing in three,” I said…and then, I heard it. Not in three, but in compound meter; he had switched the underlying beat to triplets. “One Bread, One Body” in 6/8? I traded glances with one of our altos, a music teacher, and knew she had heard it too. Christian was onto something. What he was doing worked.
It’s amazing how the slightest change in something well-worn and familiar makes it seem like it’s still wet on the page. Ten voices raised to God…two percussive instruments providing form and shape to sung prayer…
I raised my sleepy baby up over my head and looked up at him, singing. He rewarded me with a big, adorable grin. And in that moment, I felt God within me, beside me…all around me.
And we, though many throughout the earth,
We are one body in this one Lord.