SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -Uplifting music can be heard ringing throughout the halls of St. John the Baptist’s Cathedral during the days leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day.
Their famed choir helps drive home the message at the services.
“This is a mass," said Katie Collins, a member of the choir. "This is a church. It’s not a show. We’re not performers, we’re here to worship and we’re here to celebrate.”
Preperations for the celebrated holiday go far beyond wearing green and parades at the Cathedral.
“I’m a college student and although I’m in a lot of rigorous classes," said Pattye Meagher, another choir member. “Even though I’m so busy with that, I love coming to choir. I even put off knee surgery, so I could sing this year.”
The Cathedral choir is under new direction this season and Dr. Paul Thornock quickly learned the importance of this holiday in the city of Savannah.
“I just started in August and it was only after I had arrived that everyone immediately started talking about St. Patrick’s Day," said Dr. Thornock. "There was no mention of Christmas, or of Easter. It was all about St. Patrick’s Day.”
They practice as a group twice a week for two hours, and the choir members do plenty on their own as well. They say that they know they are serving a higher purpose by using their voices.
“We have two full-blown masses going on, so, we want to do it justice and show a wonderful hospitality to all the visitors coming to take part part in the whole gambit of events around the city,” said Demetri Chrissos, another choir member.
“I love that here in Savannah we make this mass such a special part of the celebration, because it really does bring home that this is a religious holiday,” said Chrissos.
For the 40 members, sharing their voices is the best way for them to celebrate the day.
“One of the most wonderful things that I can think to do with my gift of music is to give back and sing to the glory of God and just make these wonderful sounds," said Chrissos. "It’s just incredible. It’s unreal.”