Friday, May 01, 2009

The beauty of no electricity

As seems to happen about once a year out in the sticks, there was a series of storms and last Sunday morning St. P was without power.
After my initial freak-out, I realized that this would be a good opportunity to make the best of. I know from experience that Mass without electricity is...beautiful. We are...going back to our roots. The way people lived for thousands of years. (Minus the manually pumped organ bellows :-P )
I knew that the 10:30 Mass with the full choir was particularly an opportunity to make the most of.
Here's the basic program as done:

Entrance Antiphon as usual (English simple Psalm tone) It only would have been more perfect with incense...
Psalm: from Respond and Acclaim, a decent but short arrangement. I sang from the ambo the verses alone, and the choir sang 4-part harmony in the choir loft on the refrain
Alleluia
The Head that Was Once Crowned With Thorns (to the tune Morning Song, I used two handbells, on the tonic and the 7th [flat cuz it's a minor key] where appropriate.)
Sanctus: chanted English
Mem accl: chanted English (psalm tone)
Agnus Dei: chanted Latin
Communion: Communion chant as usual
At the Lamb's High Feast (melody only)
Regina Caeli (this is an awesome 3-part SSA arrangement in the St. Pius X hymnal, my ladies learned it last year, and I had run over it with them last week and taught some of the new members...not knowing how much we would NEED an a capella piece this week!) It was particularly beautiful and received many encouraging and positive comments
Closing: Jesus Christ is Risen Today (melody only, first two verses HA)

all a capella unless noted. It works quite well, especially having the men in the choir. As a matter of fact, I'm sure it makes the congregation sing more; they're like, "oh yeah, we're supposed to be singing here..."

Even though it wasn't really dark, everything down to the candles on the altar were just even more beautiful than usual. No humming of the organ or the fans...every noise is even more noticeable. Silence is beautiful. It reminds you of the sacred. Where else is there silence?

1 comment:

Chris said...

That sounds like an incredible candle-lit Mass! Wish I could have heard it against the backdrop of silence. All the electric/electronic buzzing is really getting to me!