Sunday, December 9, 2007


Today I attended Mass a parish church in North Providence, RI. Before I start with the music list, I have to tell you for a church with a cornerstone dated 1963, it's not a bad looking church at all. There is a high altar there. No fancy reredos, but kind of a "semi-baldacchino" (with no supporting pillars) that extends almost to the ceiling. The Tabernacle is centered on the high altar. There is still about two thirds of the altar rail left. The seating is in the traditional style. The pipe organ, a three-manual Wicks, rebuilt by Peragallo (as I learned after Mass), is up in the choir loft, where the choir also sang from. Further, ALL the music was played on the organ. The organ playing wasn't "great", but was "decent", though I think there was a transposer set on the organ that was a half step flat (I say that because - one: I have perfect pitch and music normally played in G sounded like it was in G-flat, a key hardly anyone uses anymore, same for its enharmonic, F-sharp; two: I've learned not too long ago that modern technology has allowed even the pipe organ to transpose). There is absolutely no carpeting, thus, the acoustics are resounding!

So far, so good! However, let's now look at the music selected (ruh roh!)

In a mix of mostly trashy selections, the opening hymn was one I was very elated to hear, and the ONLY thing I sang from the pew:
On Jordan's bank the baptist's cry...Winchester New
To you, O Lord, I lift my soul...the composer eludes me. Wasn't all that great of a setting. Plus, I would have used the proper (Justice shall flourish...) instead. However, seasonal Psalms (Ps. 25 for Advent is one of them) are still allowed.
Alleluia...Jesuits Mass (blech!)
Offertory: A voice cries out...Joncas (Fr. Joncas has a few good pieces to his credit. This is not one of them. Sounds like typical Roc O'Connor fare from the 70's)
Sanctus, Memorial A, Amen...Janco (Mass of Redemption) (not so hot!)
Agnus...Olawski (blech!)
Communion: Come, O Lord...Dameans (absolute trash! The song itself sounds like a ripoff of the theme from Room 222 - remember that one from the early 70's?)
Recessional: City of God...Schutte (also absolute garbage! Has that quick 3 "bar song tempo" and trashy self-praising "we are sons of the morning, we are daughters of day" text.)

Despite the excellent acoustics, the choir and the organist was heavily miked. They really did not need the mics.

Was my first time at this church. Overall, I was disappointed.


Lyn F. said...

Well Brian, if anything, your forced exile is giving you the opportunity to church-hop. Must be an interesting experience.

Brian Michael Page said...

Yes, it does. However, I must confess I still feel empty, though I will have my monthly 1962 Mass next Sunday. Too bad they're set on the English Masses (a husband/wife team, the wife's the director and has been singing with me for the 1962 Mass). The pastor is wonderful!