12/10/08

Christmas #7: The Choir Practice

Julie decided to leave Choir Practice [not capitalized]. She had found [passive] it impossible to sing that day without breaking into tears. It was only two weeks until the ward choir would sing the Christmas Cantata in Sacrament Meeting [don't think it's capitalized. Check the LDS Style Guide], and she . She knew that they were in dire need of sopranos, but she wasn't going to be any help to them. They would be short not only one good soprano, but two. Her mother would have been standing beside her singing in her smiling rich tones if the Lord had not called her home exactly three weeks before [earlier]. The three long stressful weeks had gone by. Preparations for Thanksgiving and the holidays had been swallowed up in the family sorrows and the funeral. At first Julie didn't think she could deal with it, but the Lord had given her a measure of peace--except when it came to singing.

She [Julie; when starting a new paragraph, reidentify who the "she" is] sat by herself in the foyer, the tears still wet on her cheeks, waiting for her ride home with Sister Cameron. Weather permitting, she would have walked home and let the tears flow freely; but the snowdrifts were already starting to pile up in the afternoon snowfall, and the temperature was dropping quickly as dusk set in early on that December afternoon. [sentence too long; also, don't tell us, show us. Have her observe the snow fall through a window or something.] She could hear the Choir beginning the strains of "Angel's We Have Heard on High" and sing until they reach the chorus, "Glor-ia, in excellsis Deo". At that instant the dim foyer seemed to glow in a misty shimmer, and Julie felt the light touch of a hand on her arm. She looked up into the eyes of--Mother, only young, smiling, wearing a long white dress and her shoulder-length brown hair blowing as if in a gentle breeze.

"Julie, my Darling [don't capitalize]," whispered Mother. "I am going to take you with me to a Christmas Past [don't capitalize], and then you will understand, see that there is wisdom in why things happen as they do, and you will be comforted." [too long]

Mother took Julie by the hand, and they passed through what seemed to be Temple Doors, down a long broad hallway where there were concourses of people, dressed in white and beautiful to behold. They all seemed to be in a blissful, excited [not sure these two states are compatible] state, conversing happily. Julie asked Mother what was going on. She just smiled and beckoned her to follow. In a few moments--or a few hours, Julie did not sense a particular passage of time-they entered into a Great Hall. It was full of bustling people, all with rustling papers and some with musical instruments, many which Julie didn't recognize, taking their places. [too long] It was obviously a rehearsal hall. Mother guided [awkward; use "led"] Julie to the top row of a great choir loft, the seats so numerous that Julie couldn't begin to guess how many there were. People were beginning to fill up the seats, and the whole room was electric in anticipation.

In walked the Great Conductor. The confusion in Julie's mind began to clear. The situation began to be vaguely familiar to her. She suddenly recognized the conductor, as he raised his baton and the whole chorus erupted into the beginning strains of the great "Hallelujah Chorus"-he had been known on earth at a later time as George Friedrich Handel. He had written the great oratorio "The Messiah" in just twenty-one days, "in or out of the body" he "knew not". [quoting like this doesn't really work in this story. Have Julie remember reading about it and him sayin it or something] And now Julie knew that he had really written it eons before that time in a pre-earth life.

It was to be the last rehearsal before the Grand Celebration--the Great Redeemer was going down to earth to be born as a little baby in mortality, and Julie was going to sing in the Great Choir!

Soon the time was at hand. The Great Choir had gone down to earth and assembled before a little group of shepherds sitting in the fields with their flocks of sheep on a lovely spring evening, just outside of Bethlehem. Gabriel, who in earth-life had been the Prophet Noah, announced the Holy Birth to the humble shepherds, and then Julie sang with her whole heart and soul, all the time grasping on to the hand of her best friend Aimee, who in mortality would become her mother!

Julie gradually became aware that she was once again in the dimly lit foyer. The Ward Choir was still singing "Angels we Have Heard on High". Only a few moments had gone by! The tears on her cheeks had dried. Julie went back into the Chapel, took her place in the soprano section and sang with her whole heart and soul, "Glor-ia, in excellsis Deo!"

What I liked best: Some people don't like the Christmas past/ghost coming storyline, but I liked it here. That experience helped to heal her heart. I thought it was sweet.

Magazine ready? No. Brush up on your basic grammar. I'd like to see it expanded a little more, details on the physical sensations, thoughts and emotions.

4 comments:

Margaret Turley said...

Heart warming experience. The first Christmas without a loved one can be very difficult.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Neat story!

Taffy said...

Nice story! Good idea

Coffinberry said...

gets my vote