My family teased me when I was young as I stood by the side of the choir trying to be one of them.
The choir that is.
I lack nothing in enthusiasm but everything in vocal range. The same today, on both counts.
My love of choirs has only grown the older I’ve got.
And my desire to see an African-American gospel choir.
My buddie Eddie recalls when he was the only white guy at a service in San Francisco.
Missed Mass again!
So I was really excited when I saw a Southern Gospel Choir on the itinerary for my MLK 50 trip two years ago.
The perfect ending to my odyssey through Tennessee and Mississippi?
Marking the Civil Rights movement and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Alas, only the British and European members of the party got to see it .
As we discovered that our flights to Ireland were at the same time.
All the harder to take as the night before we had been treated to a rendition of Christmas songs by one of our charming Mississippian hosts.
Good things though sometimes do come to those who wait.
And I was served up more than brunch on the first day of the American Travel Fair (IPW) in Anaheim in June.
Seeing it was a Sunday and I had skipped Mass I couldn’t help thinking that the group were checking up on me.
But then I thought of a get-out clause my Dear Old Mum had told me about when I was a kid.
If you’re on holiday and you can’t go then Our Lord would understand.
Did I really try that hard to check out the Mass times?
Of course that set me up with some absolution for all the messin’ I did over the next few days.
With a bunch of animated characters… and the likes of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Peanuts.
The City of Angels
Which, of course, I would then have to confess at church.
And I was surprised to find that in LA there are some gorgeous Old Style praying houses.
Which I shouldn’t have… it’s original name is the longer El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles del Rio Porcuincula.
Or Town of Our Lady the queen of Angels of the River Porcuincula.