Wednesday, February 24, 2010

do you wanna sing or not?!

so, I'm there. Before Mass, standing at the ambo (the church is too small for another lectern,) and I'm standing in front of a full church, everyone is looking at me, and I'm supposed to teach them a very short, easy, 2-line, *Latin* acclamation.

You wouldn't think it was hard, and when I look out across the sea of faces, most of them (60%?) are making admirable attempts, and I'm so proud of them.

Of the other 40%, I'd say you have the group that's your typical totally apathetic "I don't care at all what happens, you could start screaming and jumping up and down and I'd probably still ignore you, I'm just here cuz I have to be..." and they comprise about 30% of the congregation. And, ok, fine, I admit. They are pretty much a hopeless cause. It's sad, but I don't lose sleep over them.'s the final, remaining 10% of people that really get to me. I'm standing up there, and they're looking back at me, and I can see what they're thinking; they're like, "I'm not going to sing in Latin. I'm not even going to try. It's probably toooo haaaard! So I'm not even going to open the hymnal and at least pretend to look at it..."
(and don't accuse me of judging them cuz I of course can't actually read their thoughts--but I can certainly see that they aren't trying!)

And the thought occurred to me, the most recent time that I was up there, trying to teach them, looking into their faces...
"YOU! You all are the exact ones who have been clamoring the loudest for 'active participation' for the last 40 years! And yet look at you! I could just have the choir sing all the time, but oh boy, I wouldn't hear the end of that... So now I'm trying to make it so you can sing easily; I'm doing everything that I can so that this tiny, little, two-line snippet of music could be easy for you!"

The...irony? They don't really care about active participation...or, at least, not when there's any Latin or something else that might stretch them uncomfortably even a little bit...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't give up on that 10%, their old brains need time to listen to the pronunciation a few times and match it with the music. I loved how at the 5:00 Fr.G told the back of the church that he couldn't hear them and they needed to sing too. You have a lot of support for the increased use of Latin - don't look back or get discouraged!