Monday, June 02, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem, and Dona Ei, Elisabeth

About 125 current and former members of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus showed up on Saturday to sing at Elisabeth Witte's funeral. (Fully one-third of the group were former members, some traveling more than 100 miles to pay their respect.)

All had but one gift to give her--their vocal ability.

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, workmen, moms, dads, Lutherans, Catholics, UCC'ers, Jews, Democrats, Republicans, straights, and homosexuals--a unity of minds and souls in one very diverse group of people.

In that unity of sorrow and respect for Lis, the Chorus performed Part 4 of Brahms' German Requiem (Wie Lieblich Sind Deine Wonungen) and the last chorus of the Bach B-Minor Mass (Dona Nobis Pacem.)

The church was packed, with extra chairs set up in the vestibule and a number of people who had to stand. None understood Dr. Gerhard Witte's act, but all understood that Lis is now relieved of the burdens she carried.

Another very big heart and smile has met her Maker. Pray for us, Lis, that we may overcome this sad parting.

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