21 Jan 2019

“Un-Choir” at Holy Cross Church, Palermo

A small group of Palermo church members became the Holy Cross “Un-Choir” in 1995 with the very personal support of Carey Graziano and Margaret Tassone, long-time members.

From the outset on Sunday and at holiday services the group sits not in a designated place in the church, but among the congregation to encourage them to sing.

Here at Holy Cross we try to hold to Augustine’s belief that “when we sing the Lord’s praises, we pray twice.”

Over time our “un-choir” has grown and each year in Advent as we prepare for our annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols people also join from other local churches—Roman Catholics, Waldensians, Lutherans and Orthodox.

This year a broadly ecumenical and veritable international “un-choir” sang at our Lessons and Carols Service on 16 December, including singers from 12 countries: England, Italy, Ireland, the USA, Ghana, Israel, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

Holy Cross is very much blessed in our organist, Michele Calo’ and in our choir mistress, Elena Maccano’ who serve as well in their own parishes, but whom we have come to consider members of our Holy Cross family.

Our “un-choir” members consider themselves not so much “singers” as much as people who value this special fellowship and enjoy singing together, and at the same time grow, as our chaplain, Father Russ, continually teaches us, into the Lord’s new commandment to love one another as he loves us.