Sunday February 2nd was a lot of things for many people, Fr. Patrick Cogan, pastor at Christ the Redeemer said as much in his Homily. It was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and World Day for Consecrated life. For sports fans, it was Superbowl Sunday. For others, it was Groundhog Day with the threat of snow falling overnight. For those at the 10 AM Mass it was also the final mass for Diane Kingsbury, the musical director at Christ the Redeemer, who retired this month.
Diane had worked at various Christian churches in the Sterling area going back to the 1980s. She officially came to Christ the Redeemer in 1989, first as an organist and eventually as the full-time music director by 1997. During the reception held for her afterwards in Atonement Hall, she reflected that as with many other parishioners, “It all began here.” Back then, Atonement Hall was the old church and she pointed to a corner where she used to conduct the choir.
Today, the old church is used more for parish receptions, sacramental preparation meetings, and Donut Sundays. The new church has a much larger choir area, which way back in the early days, Diane wondered if she’d ever fill. Today, it certainly was filled with around 50 choir members, including a 20+ group of the Childrens Choir, a solo violinist, and members from the schola and adult choirs.
Sunday masses are not the only place that has felt the influence of Diane’s musical direction through the years. She would provide liturgical music for the sacramental celebrations of Reconciliation, First Communions, Confirmations, and the Easter Vigil. She would also be the musical guide for those preparing for weddings and funerals. But perhaps her most lasting contribution is leaving behind a parish that is well acquainted with the Gather Hymnal from its previous versions to the newest blue-bound presentation.
This is certainly a parish that raises its voice in song. Happy to sing joyful emendations at Sunday Baptisms and reprise that faith and hope at parish funerals and everything in between. Diane Kingsbury provided music for that journey with the parish and the parish of Christ the Redeemer wishes her the best on this next journey with her husband Jim Kingsbury.