Monday, January 31, 2011

when non-musicians lead the hymns

It never ceases to amaze/amuse me when I go to daily Mass somewhere, and there is no instruments, and some congregation member just leads an opening and closing hymn, and I am always fascinated by the range they sing in. I think people pick the starting note as something which is comfortable in their range, (and too bad if that happens to be a high or low point of the song!) but much more often than not, it ends up that the song is transposed down a perfect 4th or even 5th! I have been involved with plenty of arguments about how people complain that the songs are too high so therefore we should teach the people how to sing higher. Um, something is slightly lacking from that argument, I would say. (Mainly, what church musician as the opportunity to "teach" the "entire" congregation HOW to sing?!?!)
So, it seems to me that the obvious solution would be to lower the songs, even slightly. But upon listening to a congregation of non-musicians sing something, it's rather amusing how we argue about whether a particular song should be in C or D or even Eb...let's talk instead about lowering it down so the highest and lowest notes are A! I bet you very few people would feel it was too low...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Dear blog readers,

If you appreciate/love a priest, send his bishop a letter/note to let him know why. It really does make a difference.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

missal translation

I know there has been a lot of discussion on the new translation that we are supposed to have beginning in November, and about how people will receive it, and how angry they will be, or if they will love it, and perhaps whether some people will refuse to say it... but as I think about human nature, and my experiences of it, I believe that people generally don't like change, and complain about it for a brief period of time...but then soon after? they don't even remember what it was like before.

This is MY prediction: (well, it is only my prediction if the scenario occurs as I describe)
I think that if there was just a little bit of explanation, "so we'll be using a new translation soon, that will be more accurate to the original..." and then hand them a copy-but not too far in advance! and then say, "ok, read this during Mass." they might complain a bit, but you know what? I betcha that (especially if whoever presents the material doesn't present it in a negative light,) I betcha that 4 months later people won't even remember that they were ever saying anything differently.

new look!

wow, thank you AF... I haven't made any changes to my blog since, like, uh, 2006? wow I'm old...
anyhow, that was all for the purpose of allowing YOU to easily become my "follower." stalkerish is *that*?! (It didn't seem like I could add the "gadget" with my old template, at least not easily.)

soo...feel free to click on that, you know, little thing over on the right side. It seems to be the cool thing to do.

Unfortunately, in the changes, I seem to have lost my list of links, (which doesn't really matter anyhow, b/c it's not like I ever looked at more than a couple of them regularly!) So, apologies if your blog isn't linked to anymore, let me know if it should be, or if you know of any others that are interesting. But, that has the added plus that I now don't have links to any abandoned blogs, and that I've even added some new ones! yay!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

worst sound EVER...

a church full of old and middle-aged women belting their heart out on the refrains of "Be not afraid" and "Here I am Lord."
Even if I didn't dislike those songs in particular, the sound of 100+ old ladies singing as loud as they can is pretty awful...

(It's funny how the sound is imprinted in my memory. Even at this moment I can recall in detail how it sounded. I literally cringed at the swell of singing that occured at the onset of those refrains. Maybe it was just one person who was singing loudly in particularly, but still...*shudder.* It was like...yelling. or croaking.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

songs and text

so, what do you do when there is a song with perfect *text* that matches the proper antiphon...but it sounds like either something right off Broadway, or else a schmaltzy love song? I've looking at "Lord When You Came to the Seashore" as a substitute for the antiphons for this upcoming Sunday having to do with "Follow me, I will make you fishers of men." ok, well, looking at it again I guess the text doesn't match as well as I thought it did...but still, there's other times that this occurs! So where's the line? Should all songs that are musically inappropriate be excluded from the liturgy, even if they could substitute for a proper antiphon where nothing else can?

Friday, January 07, 2011

this is REALLY funny...

ok, I admit, I didn't even read it (I don't think I need to...)
but it was even funnier before they modified the note at the end, which now says:

Editor's Note: When this column was first posted, NCR incorrectly reported that this homily was given at St. Patrick Church in Ann Arbor, Mich. We are waiting to hear back from Bishop Gumbleton about where he celebrated Mass last weekend. In the meantime we apologize for the error.