Wednesday, May 9, 2007


The Crescat learned her lesson about the infamous Sunday night Mass, at least as we know it today. It does seem like a lot of parishes that have the Sunday late afternoon/evening Mass these days resort to contemporary pop/rock/folk/hootenanny music, some even calling it their "LifeTeen" Mass.

Even up my way, there's one very large church in Fall River who has an excellent organist (even at 80 years old, well, next month) primarily traditional music for both Saturday Masses and all three Sunday morning Masses (one is in French), the Sunday night Mass (from what I was told) is the one guitar Mass. My last parish, a roundhouse church in Warwick, had a Sunday late afternoon Mass. Guess what --- the "organist" the pastor hired to play that Mass was one who specialized in those "CCM" styles of music. One church I auditioned at in Springfield, MO, before ultimately coming to Holy Ghost, also has a Sunday night "LifeTeen" Mass.

A couple of decades ago, it wasn't like that. At least not around my neck of the woods. Most parishes that had a folk Mass had it at the later Saturday Mass (back in those days - 70's and 80's - when lots of parishes had TWO Saturday Masses - like, 5:00 and 7:00 - the guitars would have the 7:00). The Sunday late afternoon/night Mass in most places had either the organ or no music at all. In fact, I played three churches with Sunday night Masses. My program was no different from the rest of the Masses - primarily traditional. Many parishes now, at least in my diocese, have done away with that "second Saturday Mass", so I guess the Sunday night crowds become the "new suckers". St. Augustine's Church in Providence STILL uses primarily traditional music at their 5:30 Sunday Mass, played on the 1996-built III/30 Peragallo pipe organ. However, although it was the norm back in the 70's and even some of the 80's, it's definitely the exception now. (I call it leading by example and wishing others would follow suit.)

Now, if it were Mass with standard music at 5, concert in the hall at 6, it may not be so bad. :)



DominiSumus said...

Yes, that church in Fall River does still have a guitar Mass on Sunday nights. I accidentally attended Mass there a few months ago and I was shocked that it hadn't been changed.

Now, I am sure you are wondering how I attended Mass accidentally. I was actually there for the wake of a priest, but as soon as I got inside the Church, the procession began and I couldn't leave in the middle of Mass, even if it wasn't the reason I was there.

Now, there is another parish in the other end of the city, where I occasionally fill in where the organ and mostly traditional music is played at their Sunday evening Mass.

Brian Michael Page said...

Yup - I learned about the Fall River Church in question's doing a hootenanny Mass via one of my own choir members.

Dad29 said...

Some infections cannot be killed..

DominiSumus said...

That church happens to have an extraordinary pipe organ. It is a 3 manual, 61 rank Casvant Freres which was built in 1964.

Brian Michael Page said...

I heard that organ was 81 ranks (according to their organist). In fact one issue of The American Organist wrote it as 84 ranks. And the organist also had told me the only reason he had a three-manual console installed instead of a four-manual console is because of his short stature.


DominiSumus said...

I think you are right.

I am sure he would have loved a 4 manual console. Nonetheless, it is a spectacular instrument and is a beautiful church. It would be more beautiful if the banners circa 1970 were removed from the sanctuary, but you can't win them all.

Hey is this word verification some kind of joke. It is asking me to type in OCP. I'll do it to get this posted, but I hope I am not professing allegiance to anything. lol!

Brian Michael Page said...

Hey is this word verification some kind of joke. It is asking me to type in OCP.

If it tells you to type in the word "Haugen", that's when you worry.

Actually, if you just hit "publish" without the word verification typed in, it will just show your text (still in the field, not published) and an all new thingie to type in. :)

BMP (who pledges no allegiance to the big three whatsoever)