August 23, 2014

Aug. 23

August 23, 2014:  Saturday, 20th week, Ordinary Time

Hi, my name is Sally Scuderi.  Thanks Jim,  for asking me to be a guest blogger on your site. I am very new to blogging, but here goes.... I am the Director of Music Ministry and Bereavement Services Coordinator at my church:  St. Michael the Archangel, in South Glens Falls, NY, about one hour north of the capital, Albany.  I have been involved in music ministry since i was in the sixth grade and filled in for an organist during Lent.  I am a retired public school music teacher with also an MS in Education, an MS in Family counseling, and most recently, an MA in Theology.

I was drawn to Jim's blog due to his snazzy pictures of his ties.  I have four choirs:  an adult choir, a contemporary choir, a children's choir and a newly formed Resurrection Choir. Having a dedicated group of singers just was the topping on the cake to our 'seamless garment' Bereavement Ministry.  We have to move quickly and (seemingly) effortlessly within a short turn around of about three days.  The pastor and the funeral director alert me of a funeral, I, in turn send out an email to the head of the Bereavement Hospitality teams, as we share a full luncheon for the grieving family after the funeral or the internment.  Then an email goes out to the Resurrection Choir and the Sacristans.  The people who have joined the Resurrection Choir are mostly retired folks who still wish to sing and share their ministry with others, but prefer a standard repertoire and daytime rehearsals.  I sought to make them feel as comfortable as possible.  We have achieved a most valuable ministry that is welcomed by the families.  I make sure everyone is dressed alike to identify them and to also keep it simple and non-distracting to the mourners.  So, I decided on white tops and black slacks or skirts.  I bought them all music notes matching scarves and ties, and black ties and black shawls for the bitter winter months.  They are just such a wonderful group of people and actually feel that they are both making a 'joyful noise' and celebrating the life of the deceased.  This is a picture of the first time they sang at a liturgy of Christian Burial:

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