We open our hymn books as Father announces the first hymn. Mouths open, we let the first notes fly out. They spiral up to the ceiling, a pleasing mix of voices. Then suddenly, discords grind against my ear. I turn my head ever so slightly and glare at Sophie who's warbling away to her own merry little tune. She seems completely oblivious to the fact that she is, for the most part, out of tune.
No one else around me seems bothered by her singing. Am I the only one who cares about the music being perfect for God? Or is it more selfish than that? Maybe I'm just impatient with people who aren't as musically talented as I.
Does God really mind whether the music is in tune or not? Does he care if Sophie warbles the wrong notes? I somehow doubt that. Sophie sings with her whole heart, enjoying every moment of the hymn, and sending it flying straight to God. Maybe, for all that I sing more musically than Sophie, her hymns are more pleasing to God than my note perfect ones.
So, next time we go to mass, when the hymn books open for the first hymn, I shall forget about how annoying the wrong notes are. Instead, I shall catch Sophie eye and share a grin. God doesn't care if we're musical or not, just so long as we are whole hearted.