Friday, September 28, 2007

Waiting for a Miracle

I'm excited to say that this weekend I get to witness a miracle. Not a baby being born, not a lost ship being saved or an underdog team winning a championship.

No, this weekend I am taking part in that annual mini-miracle known as the Primary Program.

(Brief explanation for my friends of other faiths...Mormon kids go to "Primary" every Sunday to learn, play, pray and sing. Every fall, the children present a musical program for the entire congregation. It happens in every LDS church around the world and has been a tradition for generations....or at least back as far as my mother can remember. For more details, check this website...or, if you are in town this Sunday, just come to church with me and see for yourself!)

I am the music director in our Primary. It is my favorite job ever because:

  1. I love kids.
  2. I love music.
  3. I love bossing people around.

But, as much as I LOVE doing the Primary music...every year I dread the program. And I think I'm not alone.

It's just that the logistics of giving 45 kids each a speaking part to memorize, 10 songs to learn and then practicing the whole thing over and over and over gets to be a bit much.

The weeks preceding the Primary program are filled with lots of repetition, standing still, and waiting for turns. Kids hate repetition, standing still and waiting for turns. So do I, for that matter.

Not to mention that there is a microphone involved.

Our Primary has an extra large serving of challenges too. (I can say this because a few of the challenges live at my house and share my last name.) We never know when one of these little cuties is going to start a fistfight, make an unsolicited animal sound or kick a teacher. It keeps life exciting, to say the least.

Last week's practice gave me such a headache. There was a lot of yawning, pouting, stomping and even a few tears...and that was just the adults! The kids seemed to have forgotten every song. They would not follow directions. And the whole chapel sounded more like a barnyard than a heavenly choir.

But this Sunday, I know, miracles will occur. The children will remember their parts (and even if they don't, they'll be so cute nobody will mind!) They will sing beautifully. They will do their sign language. And when they perform "Love is Spoken Here," grown men will weep.

After all, these little ones were angels in heaven's choir not so long ago. Their pure innocence, sweet faith and earnest efforts make the Primary Program everyone's favorite Sunday of the year. It's a miracle worth waiting for.


12 comments:

Celia Fae said...

How true. Due to leadership changes, our Primary only practiced once and still it was adorable. How can a person not be touched by those sweet voices and faces? And music director? Who'd you bribe to get that one?

Rochelleht said...

Celia fae, ours only practiced twice! I was amazed how well it came off.

Gab, I know it will be great. Ours wasn't fabulous in and of itself, it was just full of the spirit and that's all you need, huh? Good luck!

mama jo said...

good luck....it always turns out cute...especially if there is a fistfight

Annie said...

Good luck this weekend! I love primary programs {when I am not in charge of them!} Luckily I am in the stake primary so I get to see...6? 9 if I go to all them? & they are ALL unique miracles.

I think primaries should be able to pack up and go home afterward...no matter how miraculous, they're still exhausting!

Kelly said...

good luck! we've been busy practicing too. unfortunately we don't have a choirster anymore, she quit last month, and no one will say yes to the calling. so i've been leading. it doesn't help that i have NO musical genes (what's up with that? everyone in the entire family is muscial except my fam), it also doesn't help that i've only been in primary for about 4 months and don't know all the songs.

have fun.

Gramafolly said...

I love the primary program! When I was in the presidency and in charge of the program I just didn't have any practices. We practiced the songs, but nothing else. Then on the day of the program I would kneel on the floor behind the podium and point when it was someone's turn. I also didn't have anything written for them..they had to bear their testimony about the subject given to them. Surprisingly it always turned out beautifully and I only had a headache the day of the program..my finger and arm hurt a little from all that extreme pointing and arm action it took to get the kid to the microphone on time. I love to watch any primary program..for that moment there are many angels all over the world.

jake n isabel's mom said...

OK, one of your Catholic buddies here. This sounds wonderful and I wish you and all the little ones a well crafted primary. Be sure to provide a review when it's over!

Nimmy said...

The beauty about having 50 or so kids up on the stand is that no one is paying any attention to what is being said. The congregation is too busy being entertained by the front row Sunbeams. And with that many innocent, wonderful kids the spirit can be nothing but strong. That's when you know the gospel is true.

Marty: said...

The audience is watching for the kid who is wrestling with his neighbor over who goes next, loving the boy who is looking around the audience and waving to his grama, and laughing over the little Sunbeam leading the music in the front row with the tampon she just dug out of her mom's purse. Where else do you get this kind of entertainment and spiritual upliftment at the same time?

lainakay said...

I'll bet it was fantastic. Wish you were our Primary chorister! We could really use one that loves music and kids and doesn't just expect them to know the songs without him actually telling them the words! That's a story for another day. I'm positive that you are amazing!

My husband and I teach CTR 6 so we'll be involved with ours, too. Wish we could be spectators. Love seeing the kids up there... from a distance! The fistfights are much cuter when you're not responsible for breaking them up!

Shaka said...

when i've been involved in the program i have always been amazed how practices scare you but they pull it together and put on a beautiful performance-every time!!! i think it shows us that they really are listening!

Gallups Family said...

Thank you for that explanation on primary. I have so many friends and family members who simply ask, why isnt it "sunday school" then I say "well we have that too..." and as you can imagine it turns into a whole 'nother subjet...

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