Monday, July 30, 2007

Shield the Joyous

Two of my daughters spent last week at the Royal School of Church Music choir camp. My older daughter Nashy started going to the RSCM course at age 8, is now old enough at 21 to be a proctor. My younger daughter, Shiney, 17, was a PIT this year (Proctor in Training.) Nashy and the program director colluded to keep Shiney's PIT assignment a secret, and only upon her arrival at camp did she discover that she had been assigned to her sister. There were squeals and giggles and promises to make this the best year ever for the senior girls (14-17) in their care.
My children are all on the cusp of big changes. Nashy will graduate from Womens College with a Welsh Name this year; Critter will be a freshman at Big U Nearby; and Shiney will be a Senior at Tiny High School. (Even Scout, at 7, has blossomed into a reader, which is at least as big a change as college.) I'm glad they like each other, though goodness knows, they've had their days. On the way to camp, Nashy, Shiney and Critter agreed that, even if they had to leave the Little Blue State to pursue careers, they would stay nearby so they could see one another and watch Scout grow up.
I have two sisters and when the three of us are together, we laugh and talk and cry and then laugh some more. I know that no matter what happens, they're on my team. As an adult, I know lots of people who are estranged from their siblings, some actively and some through neglect. I can't imagine making it this far without my sisters and I only hope my four enjoy all the laughter, love and loyalty my sisters have given me.
Yesterday, Garden Girl, Critter, Scout and I set off to pick up the girls from camp-- three hours up, three hours back, and a beautifully sung Evensong service in between. Just beautiful! I'm glad to have everyone home, even if it's only for a little while.

And although they didn't sing this collect during Evensong last night, I'll include it here because it's my favorite.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.


Barbara B. said...

My son and daughter get along famously too -- it's WONDERFUL when siblings bond well! :)

Really nice post.

Songbird said...

I want this so much for my children as they grow older.

Diane said...

your family sounds so blessed. And you have a daughter named Scout!? How neat is that?

I love this collect. There's a chanted version of it in my denominations Compline service (I think).

Mary Beth said...

Oh, yes. Love this is the first thing from the BCP I memorized intentionally...that is, without having it soaked into me over all my years in the pew.

Choir idea of heaven. other idea of heaven.

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Cathy said...

One of my very favorite prayers also. I have it hanging up in my bedroom.

I would love to sing in a choral group such as that. Oh to be young again.

sue said...