I\’ll fly away medley

Some years ago, it was pretty common in summer for several of the small scattered churches in the area to get together for a day of shared worship and music.  These occasions were looked forward to by most, especially in summer when it was hard for the rural folks to get together.

An opening prayer and sometimes a short sermon would begin the day’s  festivity.

At the service, talent was not so much necessary as sincerity and vigor.  Churches shook with tumults of emotion, hand clapping, the jingle of tambourine, piano and the clamor of fiddle, guitar and banjo.

The pure joy of this music stayed with the participants for days. The soloists  and small groups would sing their ‘specials’, then the whole assembly would join in song from the old hymnals. Voices rested a bit, and another round of music would begin.

A break around noon time brought out, all the ‘specialties’ of the community cooks, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, green beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, cole slaw and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in season. Usually placed on long tables outside, everyone passed by filling plates, then joining friends and family to share the meal. This was followed by desserts too plentiful and tasty to begin to list.

After the meal, most would return to the church house to spend the rest of the day, singing praises and then visiting late into the afternoon. As people left for the journey home in the early evening, back to chores and the usual daily toil to come, those hours of fellowshipand music would buoy their spirits  through the days until the next one.