Monday, June 9, 2008

First Mass, Wedding Mass, Sunday Mass.

First Mass at St. Anne Church, Morganza, Louisiana

Ordinary: Mass of John Carroll, Joncas
Prelude: O Clap Your Hands, Vaughan-Williams
Processional: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Lobe den Herrn)
Psalm: Of the Day
Offertory: Cantique de Racine, Faure
Communion: Sweet Sacrament, Adoro te
Final: A Might Fortress, Gordon Young

Morganza is in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, and lies north west of that city. It's about an hour's drive from Lafayette. I teamed up with my good friend and colleague Rafael from St. Leo Church in Lafayette to provide music for this first Mass of one of Raf's school chums. The singers were from Raf's own choir, a couple from the Ascension Episcopal Choir (including me) and a few from the Lafayette cathedral choir. Rafael and I switched off between the director's podium and the console. I played the anthems, he directed, he played the Ordinary, and I directed. On the little communion hymns, he played and I slipped in with the basses. It was a fun Sunday afternoon road trip, although my boufonte melted clean away around Crotz Springs, since the a/c in our driver's carpool vehicle started cutting out. We resorted to the 4 at 55 cooling method. The church in Morganza was quaint. The organ was an old Conn from way back when. It had a full pedal board and made organ-like sounds. The reception was exactly what you would imagine in South Louisiana. Just picture the wedding reception from Steele Magnolias. Same food, drink, and music. It was groovy.

The day before the First Mass, I played a wedding in a parish north of Lafayette. The church where I played is a faded lilly. Beautiful brick Victorian Gothic structure. The interior is pretty much just as it always was. It had undergone a re-do sometime before V2 ravished many American churches. The renov's are 1950's-esque: art deco fixed altar and a wooden communion rail. The church is enormous. The loft sports a 1980's Allen. There's an organ chamber up there, but no pipe work anymore. The choir sit in the old organ chamber. I had played at the church before about a year ago, and I had hoped some things may have changed since then, namely the level of tidiness of the place. Although a little disrepair can be tolerated, it's rather disheartening when there is filth. The loft was an abject mess, and worse still was the view from the organ down into the nave. Between the mainship and the sideships there are two rows of massive columns supporting arches. The tops of the columns are much wider than the bottoms of the arches, producing a wide ledge atop each of the columns. This is obviously where the rats lived, as each column played host to about about 4lbs of rats turds apiece, not to mention the same sort of mess scattered around the loft itself. Chatting with the cantor and some of the singers the next day in Morganza, I mentioned where I had played the wedding. They all had the same comment from their own, experience: "I hope you didn't touch any surfaces in that place!" That's sad, since the church is really a historic place in a very old historic South Louisiana town. It's really a piece of the cultural heritage of the area. If the diocese can't see to help in preserving its holdings, espcially its historical ones, at least someone should run down to the local grocery for some Lysol, rags, a mop bucket, a debris mask and some rat traps at least to make it a little less filthy.

Yesterday, I plaed for my friend Rafael at St. Leo's here in Lafayette. Here's the line-up:

Prelude: Improv on IN BABYLONE
Ordinary: Celtic Mass, Chris Walker
Gradual: of the day
Alleluia: Threefold with versicle
Off: There's a Wideness in God's Mercy (In Babylone)
Comm: Communion Ant. (Flowing Waters)
Recessional: Dialogue en Ut, Marchand.

I'll be at the Leo console next weekend as well. I very much like the priest there. Good sermon. He's not at all one of those worthless clerics. This more than likely explains the packed church at both the 8:30 and the 10:30 Masses. I had a long break between the two Masses, so I also got some organ loft knitting time in, to work on my Greek Key scarf.


Motherhen said...

Hmm, St. Leo's huh? Even Fatima with it's funky Mass settings is better than St. Peter & Paul's which I endured this weekend. Maybe I can talk Redd into St. Leo's. Which is the High Mass?

Brian Michael Page said...

Doesn't it figure - all the good parishes are taken and the best one can do there is sub?

Brian Michael Page said...

"4 at 55 cooling method" - is that something similar to the "2-80 air conditioning" I use? (that is, open up 2 windows and do 80)