(St. Francis of Assisi)
Sisters who can no longer manage daily life by themselves and need help live in the “Emilie Wing” in Kösching, Germany. I am priviledged to accompany them.
In the afternoon, we like to sit the the reading corner in a hall. It’s a nice place, it was just a little dim. Then someone got the idea to put in a florescent light. That was the beginning of our sing-a-long hour. This happened just before Advent. The sisters enjoy the singing so much that now it can never be omitted. At first, we sang Advent and Christmas songs from the green song book. On Marian feast days we sang from the blue books and on other days from the red books in which are found old folk songs, hiking songs, and beloved evening songs.
Often during the day the question of when it is time to sing arises. We always sing at the same time, a half hour before supper. Some sisters come and sit there much earlier so as not to miss it.
The benefit of our sing-a-long is that it makes the sisters happy and really relaxes them. It is usually very cheerful on the way to dinner and afterwards in the dining room. We don’t want to cancel this song hour anymore because it has a positive effect on community life, and the sisters are much more even tempered. Even those who can no longer sing feel comfortable and relaxed.
Once, when I was having my “quiet day” of prayer, there was a knock on my door at the time we always sing, and a sister who can still get around by herself with a walker stood in front of me and said that they were all there, only I was missing. I had to laugh because the sisters usually have a hard time remembering things, the sing-a-long, however, went into their heads and hearts. Fortunately, they accepted that it was not possible that day.
Recently, after the sing-a-long a sister said: “What a good thing it is that we can sing so beautifully by ourselves.” Meanwhile we know that the singing is not only good for us, but also for other sisters in the house who have told us they like to hear us sing.