Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This morning my wife and I attended the funeral Mass for her aunt (she was 84). Man, has the music taken a steep downhill slide! The church is a modern build in my hometown (the original, much nicer looking, church burned down in 1976), with a three-manual Rodgers and a recently-acquired digital piano. See if you can guess which instrument was used for the ENTIRE Mass. Yup - the digital piano. Every freakin' piece was arpeggio after arpeggio after arpeggio. Apparently they haven't gotten the fact that cocktail lounge music does not belong at Mass. It was more mortifying than death itself. Here's the rundown:

As my wife and I and the rest of the funeral procession entered the church, we were entertained with the lounge-like instrumental stylings of We will rise again by David Haas.
The opening hymn was Amazing Grace, of course.
Apparently the "pianist" doesn't know much about (or is just completely ignorant of) liturgical rubrics, as Shepherd me, O God was the Psalm, which really sounded like background tracks to a soap opera (or as my mom would call it back in the 60's and 70's, "my story").
The Alleluia was from the St. Louis Jesuits debacle.
The offertory was Gentle Woman, without the Hail Mary part.
The music for the Liturgy of the Eucharist was from, wait for it, wait... for... it..., Massive Cremation.
The Communion was, of all $#^&^#$% things, All I ask of you - yeah, at Communion, we sing of being sentimental with our friends.
The song of farewell was Bob Dufford's Songs of the angels (blech!)
The recessional was How great thou fart, complete with vocal ad libs on the second verse.

The entire music program reeked of mellow cocktail lounge entertainment, or perhaps one of those old "easy listening" piano albums that my mom had collected over the years.

My wife's aunt, rest her soul, must have been mortified.


George Tarasuk said...

I sympathize with you. But..
I'm applying for a gig at an old suburban parish. St. Pat's is a beautiful space. Decent organ too.. But in my web search, I found this article entitled, "Era of Pay, Pray and Obey is Over".

Clearly, people (at least in this community) are getting tired of this crap.

Motherhen said...

Your poor Aunt. I've told my family I'm writing up the music I want played at my funeral. They roll their eyes, because obviously, I'll be too busy "purifying" myself in Purgatory to know what was played.

Bear said...

I surprised you didn't light your hair on fire, charge the musicians at the piano and take over yourself.

Brian Michael Page said...

Bear, I probably should have. However, it was just one lone (I'm guessing) 30-something female, and I just don't have the heart to physically attack women. Besides, I'd just hate to piss off the in-laws LOL!

BTW, what REALLY surprised me was that "Beagle's Things" wasn't used. However, IMO, it was 10x worse with "Gentle Woman" and "All I Ask"

All I ask of you is forever that you'll never play... that song again.


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Well, at leat my uncle's funeral will be held in Italy, so whatever they do, I won't hear it.