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Holy Family Parishioners Surprise Pastor with a Virtual Choir


By Carolina Scipioni

Scott Thomas has been a parishioner at Holy Family Parish since 2004 and a dedicated music minister for over 30 years. He is also in charge of the sound system at the parish and recently started a Tech Ministry to train other parishioners to support the parish in this area. Like many of us, Scott cares deeply about his faith community and was saddened by the idea of an Easter where parishioners would not be able to come together to sing Alleluia.

After giving it some thought, Scott decided to try an idea that he had seen in another community. A virtual choir is not an easy undertaking by any means, but he was determined to make it happen. He thought that this would not only be a good way to get everyone to sing together, but it could also be Father Andrew V. Nguyen’s Easter Surprise.

The Monday before Easter, he sent all the music ministers an invitation to participate in this “secret project,” together with a guide track, a video with instructions, and a request to send each video back no later than Holy Thursday. Scott didn’t know exactly how many people would respond in such short notice, but the response ended up being more than what he had hoped for. In all, 24 music ministers sent individual videos, including two recordings from Hawaii and two from France. What started with the intention to bring local people together to sing in the time of Shelter-at-Home turned out to be an opportunity to connect with those parishioners who have been music ministers at the parish and are now living far away.

After many late nights of experimenting with software that Scott had not used in a while, synching audio and pictures and composing all individual videos into one, the video was ready just in time for Easter Sunday. Alleluia!

Thinking that Father Andrew might worry when he didn’t see him playing the Easter song, Scott decided to briefly mention before Mass that the Easter song was going to be a video instead and without giving many details, he left.  

After Father’s blessing, they hit play.  Father Andrew was indeed surprised. He loved seeing all his parishioners from near and far together in the screen and shared that, “when I saw that the Holy Family virtual choir consisted of many faces from various choirs of our Church, it brought tears to my eyes and my heart was dancing in joy. It was such a blessing and a precious surprise gift.”

The Holy Family Easter song was simply beautiful. Not only because the singing was beautiful, and the video was well done, but especially because anyone could sense the desire to come together, to sing together and to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection together! And that is simply beautiful!

Please take a moment to enjoy the Holy Family Easter song here.