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Frère Jacques

     I remember the first time I decided to learn French. I was in 4th Grade at State Street School (Windsor Elementary School, now). One of my little classmates spoke French at home and she and the 4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Evelyn Gaynor, exchanged some words together for the class to hear. I decided then and there that I wanted to learn the language, but I had to wait five very long years until I got into high school!

     The GSCS French Club meets for about 20 minutes on Tuesdays during lunchtime. It is not an academic class per se, but a cultural experience which I hope will entice the students to study the language. The students range from grades 3-8.

     Last week we visited the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes and sang Frère Jacques for them. The song is an occasion not only to learn French words, but also to learn about the French monastic tradition and the Liturgy of the Hours. It also encourages them to sing in public. David played the role of le Frère Jacques and the rest of us played the other monks, modulating our musical dynamics, to wake him up to ring the bells for Morning Prayer. Frère Jacques had overslept.

Written By: Fr. Lance W. Harlow

Date Published: February 8, 2024

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