Down a dark, cool, and snowless path we slowly stroll. No lanterns for our practice tonight – only a mist sparkling in the occasional street light.
Our voices interwine in a three-part round as we follow a curve on the walkway. “Dona nobis pacem,” we sing. Only three words. “Dona nobis pacem” – grant us peace. Over and over the words circle around us.
It’s the kind of song, the kind of evening, the sort of movement that lends itself to contemplation of blessings and deep wishes for peace to spread as easily as one little flame can spread light from candlewick to candlewick, from lantern to lantern.
We move into another piece, a yearning spiritual. “Bright morning star arising…oh day is a-breaking in my soul.”
“Let it ring,” exhorts one of our members. “Don’t hold back.”
The idea that beyond the fuzzy glow of our city’s lights there’s the whole big black sky to set a-shimmer with our voices – well, it’s beyond my one little voice, or even that of our nine-voice choir to complete the job – but the idea of singing as deeply as we can into that darkness is thrilling. It’s something to set a singing flame aglow, and listen for the sound of it spreading…
The Solstice Choir has been practicing since November, and we have beautiful songs to share at the lantern walk on Sunday December 21. Sing with us by learning the melody for Dona Nobis Pacem so you can join in the round. Practice with this video.
We’ll be switching the order of the second and third verse, but the great thing is the words are never out of order!
We’ll also sing:
In Dulce Jubilo
Lo, How a Rose
In the Bleak Midwinter
Come and Find the Quiet Centre
And in case you missed it, one of the lantern walk organizers posted links to two short German lantern songs that are simple for anyone, child or adult, to sing. Learn them and join in!