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Lincoln Cathedral: Day 6 (Melissa Graham)

Thursday is considered a day of rest for cathedral choirs, we’ve learned. Today a large group of us took a day-long excursion to York where we participated in guided tours, enjoyed individual exploration, and then gathered for evening prayer at York Minster. York is a walled cathedral city in northeast England founded by the ancient Romans. Other Holy Comforter Pilgrims remained in Lincoln to take advantage of our granted day of rest and explore more of our adopted community.

There is, indeed, a sense of community that becomes more pervasive as our pilgrimage continues. Many of us encounter Lincoln locals who have become friendly acquaintances. One evening several of us walked to a nearby pub for dinner after an evensong service. A Lincoln Cathedral volunteer, Christine, walked by with her husband and stopped to chat for quite a while! They shared that it was their wedding anniversary and of course we sang a rendition of “Happy Anniversary” to them, in four-part harmony. Before the couple left us, Christine said that she was glad to learn that we Americans were not “buttoned-up” as she first anticipated.

Another night after singing a service, a husband/wife verger team Kate and Jim, walked by where we were dining outdoors. They stopped immediately to talk with us. Each was very happy to share more information about their neighborhood that we claim as our home for the week.

The pilgrimage has demonstrated how our collective gift fits into the sacred cathedral community. We are a community of singers who have come to set the tone of worship among those who choose to attend services in this beautiful cathedral. Years of rehearsal have now brought about a heightened sense of responsibility. Responsibility to not only worshippers, tourists passing through for a listen during rehearsal, clergy, cathedral staff and volunteers, but also to one another.

–Melissa Graham