Sunday, March 29, 2015
The greeting in the entranceway at St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church on John R. Road in Troy declares “Always Loved, Always Welcome.” The mission of the church, which was established in 1968, states:
St. Anastasia parish comes together as a family to celebrate the sacraments,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus the Christ, affirming and reaching out in
service to others.
The Resurrection Choir is a group of parishioners who reach out in service to others at one of the hardest times in the lives of most families, by singing at funerals. Member Ann Johnson, speaking at Troy’s 2010 Distinguished Citizen presentation, referred to the Resurrection as a “smaller, more demanding choir.” Sometimes, the choir takes part in three or four funerals in one week.
Music director in 1998, Bruce Glenny, started the choir by requesting the help of the congregation’s senior citizen group. Agnes Kole, now 89 ½, remembers telling him she “didn’t sing that well,” but she joined with Carol Kosciolek and others who still sing with the Resurrection Choir. The choir sang at its first funeral on September 26, 1998.
When Bruce left, and the choir was concerned about their future, Sister Kay Allberry kept the Resurrection Choir together. Singing at funerals is a service that families find uplifting. Member Robert Preston states that while “it is especially hard to sing at the funeral of a baby or young person” struck down by cancer or an accident, families appreciate the support of the choir. When the choir’s services are needed, Holly Michelcavage, liturgy coordinator, makes the initial contact and then a smooth call-down reaches out to the almost 30 singers. Music Minister Dr. Christine Chun practices the songs with the choir, though some hymns are chosen so often, there is little need to review. Resurrection Choir has sung for some of its own members’ funerals, but new voices join and keep the choir vital.
The beautiful voices of Resurrection Choir also sing for St. Anastasia’s monthly healing Mass, on the first Friday of most months. The Sacrament of Anointing is administered to those who come forward. Often members of the choir itself seek the blessing as they struggle with illnesses or conditions, but keep on singing.
Families appreciate the music saying the Resurrection Choir adds to the funeral so they feel “Always Loved, Always Welcome”.
Sources: Agnes Kole, Robert Preston, interviews March, 2015
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org