Sunday, February 10, 2013

The people who affect us

It's funny how many people and circumstances have affected our lives in ways that we probably cannot even comprehend.

A few days ago, a man died who possibly had the largest most indirect effect on my vocation/career as an organist. His funeral was yesterday, and while I barely even knew him, and I'm sure he wouldn't even have recognized me, it's funny to think about how one little person/circumstance can change your life so much.
I was an undergraduate non-music major in college, and this man was friends with my mom and also close friends with the head of the organ department. When I mentioned to my mom that I thought the organ might be a neat instrument to learn to play, she arranged a meeting with the head of the organ department through the friendship of this man. Would I have become an organist without this bit of serendipity? God only knows. On the other hand, since I do think that what I do now is divinely inspired, I suppose that most likely, yes, other circumstances would have occurred to have the same result, and yet, it's so funny. I never would have imagined that that little meeting, and my chance remark about wanting to learn the organ would have changed the course of my life.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

RIP, Paul Melton.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Gypsy Funeral!

Well, I thought it was going to be much more interesting than it turned out to be, but I guess since my liturgical life in general hasn't been all that interesting as of late, it's worth sharing about...

So, I still haven't quite figured out what exactly made them "Gypsy;" it was mentioned during the funeral that someone was from Romania, and other than that they looked like pretty normal dark-haired people. Well, they were interesting in other ways, I suppose... A fair bit of getting up to light candles, walking across the aisle to talk to someone, or going outside for a smoke right in the middle of the funeral! (They didn't hesitate to say the responses, however, but those from the previous missal!)

The most interesting thing was probably the "band" that they had - it was (I think) an accordian, a couple of violins, and a bass. They walked up the aisle right before the casket, which was actually pretty neat, and played, and also after Mass.

You can see them in here. (And yes, I'm also posting it since I don't think I've ever posted a picture of my church, to make you all jealous! ;-) ) I did notice, however, that *many* of the people in the family "procession" had their iphones out taking a video of the instruments and the church, so this apparently was not a normal occurence for them, either!
I wish I could describe the song they played (same song at beginning and end.) It was interesting. The best word I could think of to describe it would be "bawdy" sounding. Lilting and rather modal. I guess if I had to think of a song that might be considered "gypsy," this would certainly fit.

The only unfortunate thing that happened, was the funeral director had told me they were going to sing something right after Communion, so I *thought* that I ended the Communion song in a timely manner, but apparently not, b/c during the last verse I could see the funeral director jumping around and waving at me in my mirror ("No, I am NOT going to stop in the middle of a verse...") and then it appeared he gave up in frustration? Meanwhile, Father was still "doing the dishes" for another minute or two, so I don't know why they didn't just do the song then. But on the other hand... maybe not such a bad thing. Father and I had NO idea what they were going to sing, and, well, let's just say that impromptu music at Masses and funerals especially, in my experience, is rarely appropriate...