Letter: Spiritual moment
On Feb. 16, the Eventide Singers gave their annual benefit concert at First Congregational Church of Greenfield. It was, for me, the most satisfying such experience — musically, emotionally and spiritually I can recall. The wide variety of songs took the listener to many different places in the world, and also within one’s heart and soul. We were encouraged to join them on some tunes and I couldn’t help singing along on others (quietly). I have rarely heard a chorus sing with such depth and spirit, this partly due to their director Joe Toritto and the members’ skill and dedication. Beyond that, there was a palpable feeling throughout of something truly special, that stems from the hospice work which Eventide has provided to the community since 2007.
Although many in the audience were no doubt aware of this service, it was brought home to us by the words of two speakers — whose housemates were sung to a number of times during their serious illnesses and difficulties. These testaments were so heartfelt and touching, it seemed the chorus might have trouble continuing with the music ... but this is what Eventide is about — bringing musical caring into sad places, and creating solace and also joyous celebration.
At one point, small groups sang for a few audience members who sat amidst them, demonstrating how a recipient of an Eventide visit would feel. Near the end the chorus encircled us all and offered “My Peace I Leave You.” I closed my eyes as this most gentle and loving of prayers washed over me. It was heaven.