There's a ritual at home that my mother imposed: family worship. It's the time when we sing hymns, read the bible, recite verses and pray. We did it morning and evening. My parents, although both christians, come from different religious backgrounds. Papa didn't attend worships 98% of the time, so it was mainly just mother, I and the pets.
It's the very Abide With Me we used to sing at home! I clicked around and found other arrangements like Elton John's, but this is nearest to the way we sang at home, usually to close those worships. I used to memorize this, we all did. Mother's cat, Velvet (rest in peace, Sweetie) knew that when this song was sung, it's bedtime. She yawned and purred. Things were simple, life was quiet and we were all at peace with the world.
On my latest trip home I dropped by at a cousin's residence. The first evening I arrived, the family gathered to worship as usual. I sat in a corner of the living room slightly jetlagged and impervious. No, I wasn't about to become an instant church or worship returnee. It was christmas and I was thinking of all the food I was going to enjoy. Then everyone poised to sing the closing hymn. Out of the blue I signaled a nephew who was on the piano to play the intro to Abide With Me. A hint of astonishment swept through my loved ones's faces. But whether I imagined it or not, I'm sure they didn't mind the suggestion.
The singing was superb cuisine for a famished soul.
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