I was quite disappointed, as this church I attended this morning, St. Matthew's (now "Holy Spirit" as the result of a three-parish merge), had a long history of excellence in music - that is until one certain pastor screwed things up around 1990.
The present organist himself is rather good. However, he's had to bite many bullets. It's amazing he's lasted 17 years with the nutcases he's had for pastors. Until December 1988, pastors at St. Matthew's have supported excellent music, and the use of the 70-rank organ built mainly by Casavant Freres. Unfortunately, the last really supportive pastor died of heart failure on December 1988 at the young age of 55. The hymnal in the pews until 1990 was Worship II.
The replacement pastor ceased use of the four-manual gallery console (he had it disconnected completely) and purchased a refurbished three-manual console to play the gallery pipes.
Four pastors later, things aren't really any better. This morning's Mass was played entirely on the piano. Why one would want to resort to a piano during a penitential season is beyond me. It only leads to that "liberal agenda" that wants to take the "holy" out of "holy Mass". And just for proof, here's the music list:
Alstott...Lord, make us turn to you and Alleluia
- (Both of these are really good settings, but would have been served better on the organ. The Alleluia, written in a chant style, perhaps a cappella.)
Ridge...In the day of the Lord
- (Way too syncopated. Not only the anticipated ties, but the switching in time signatures from 4/4 to 6/8 back to 4/4 in just three bars. Obviously, no one sang!)
Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, Amen, and Agnus from Missa Emmanuel
- (Richard Proulx has written many good Mass settings. However, this is not one of them. It's simply overkill on Veni Emmanuel, and the Agnus tropes are not those prescribed by the Church. Lyn wrote a post on this matter on her Organ-ic Chemist blog and on Facebook. I commented on Facebook.)
Crouch...Soon and Very Soon
Not ONE solid core Advent hymn to kick off the season. And even OCP prints them in their worship aids.
Sorry Peter. Had to.
Still a nice sound, nice improv on the tune KINGSFOLD (as in "I heard the voice of Jesus say"), and well-executed by the organist in the video.
This is, yes, an actual product by Wee Believers. All the things a young boy needs to practice the priesthood (Roman Missal or GIRM not included, sadly).
The Curt Jester rightfully points out, however:
Though what about dissident little girls who want to be priestesses? Surely someone can come up with with a women's priest kit which would include poncho, stunningly ugly stole, chalice made out of earthenware, home made hosts made out of material surely to crumble, and a subscription to the National Catholic Reporter.
Let's not forget the cruise ship so that the "ordination" be held on water.
Coming soon: Wee Dissenters' Poncho Lady Kit!
Our 2200th post!
While more and more radio stations will be playing all that trash that passes for "holiday favorites" (er, "Christmas muzak"), and those Thanksgiving Day parade floats seem to focus more on Christmas themes these days than Thanksgiving, I'll be singing (in my head, since I don't have a parish to play in) "Now Thank We All Our God", "We Gather Together", "For the Beauty of the Earth", "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", and "For the Fruits of this Creation" - hymns more appropriate for the day.
Also, I have the pleasure of enjoying a four-day weekend after working 10-12 hour days for ten days straight (well, Saturday was probably about eight hours). Tomorrow, I'll be sitting back and relaxing, while praying for all those poor souls that are working in the retail sector, while laughing at those who are actually shopping in the Black Friday rush.
Finally, while on a Thanksgiving theme today, my wife's been playing the latest in goofy commercials for Oven Ready Turkey. These are actually hilarious.
Courtesy of Paul Nichols
Gospel reading for 1 Lent cites the above words spoken by none other than Satan, to none other than Jesus, who was fasting in the desert. Jesus didn't fall for it. Let's not either.
Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia, the first Red Sox player to win the American League Most Valuable Player award since 1995, and the first second baseman to win it since 1959! Well deserved!
Congratulations also to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals for winning the National League MVP for the second time!
Very appropriate for this economy, eh?
On another economic note - my wife pointed me to this article from WJAR-TV (Providence) Channel 10's website where a lady was threatened with a lien over a bill for - get this - a PENNY!
The Associated Press
Published: November 18, 2008
ATTLEBORO, Mass.—A 74-year-old blind Attleboro woman was shocked when she got a letter from the city saying a lien would be placed on her home unless she pays an overdue water bill.
The amount? 1 cent.
Eileen Wilbur told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the letter sent her blood pressure soaring, and pointed out that the stamp to send the letter cost 42 cents.
City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the letter was among 2,000 sent out. She said a computer automatically prints letters for accounts with an overdue balance, and they were not reviewed by staff before being mailed.
The letter warned of a lien and a $48 penalty if the bill is not paid by Dec. 10.
Marcoccio insists the bill be paid.
Wilbur’s daughter, Rose Brederson, called the situation “ridiculous.”
There is a follow-up to this story! After hearing about Wilbur’s story, a local man went to city hall and paid Eileen Wilbur’s bill.
A few other Christmas rants and raves:
By the way, how will I be thanking my customers while in a Schwan's uniform as Christmas nears?
Thank you very much, and have a wonderful Christmas.
If the customer replies with "but I'm Jewish"...
Then have a wonderful Hanukkah.
If the customer replies with "but I'm an atheist"...
Then have a wonderful day anyways.
Kudos to Jo-Ann Fabrics for the huge banners (at their store's entrance) that say Let's Make Christmas Together! (albeit a bit early, but at least they're not afraid to say CHRISTMAS!)
I'm already boycotting three radio stations that are normally favorites of mine until Christmas is over: WWBB-FM (101.5 in Providence, aka "B-101"), WROR-FM (105.7 in Boston), and WODS-FM (103.3 in Boston, aka "Oldies 103.3"). These three have been playing non-stop "holiday favorites" (you know, that crap that passes for Christmas music these days) since freakin' All Saints Day. Again - I love Christmas, but when it's Christmas! If I want to listen to that crap non-stop, I'll go to a freakin' mall!
Finally, is it me or is the Salvation Army sending their bell ringers out a bit too early. Earlier this evening as my wife and I were exiting the nearby Shaw's supermarket, there was a bell ringer out there already doing her thing. Now I always throw in a buck or two here and there when I see them, especially as it gets closer to Christmas. Today I did rest this bell ringer assured that I will start throwing money in once it gets closer to Christmas. Thankfully she got her holidays straight and wished my wife and me a happy Thanksgiving (I know - our Canadian readers celebrated their Thanksgiving over a month ago, on our Columbus Day).
Oh, and here's the YouTube version of the Tossmas video. Big kudos to Stuart Shepherd!
On the blogs:
Promo For Christus Vincit: The Blog
Woohoo: A blog Promo– and it was easy to find too– Brian posted it to the sidebar of the blog– a very good idea for bloggers and podcasters.
If you’re a Catholic Blogger who would like to have an audio promo for your blog I’m willing to act as a matchmaker between Catholic bloggers and podcasters who would be willing do do a short audio promo for blogs. Or if you are a Catholic blogger with audio equipment, you could do one yourself and send it to me–
PS: Welcome, Sean, to the CV Definitve Blogroll!
Strong language alert!
To me, pro-choice is:
- being able to choose what kind of car you're going to drive
- being able to choose where you want to go to church and worship Almighty God
- being able to choose where you want to live and work
- being able to choose where you want to send your kids to school
- being able to choose whether or not you want to by your frozen foods from a supermarket or off one of our Schwan's trucks (had to get that one in)
Supporting abortion rights is NOT pro-choice. What choice did the baby have? Someone screws up by getting laid at the wrong time and covers up the "consequence" by killing an innocent child? That's not pro-choice. That's pro-bullshit!
(Extraordinary Form Low Mass)
St. Leo the Great Church, Pawtucket, RI - November 16, 2008
It is with a heavy heart that I announce that this will be the last extraordinary form Mass at St. Leo's. The attendance has been extremely poor as of late, and the parish is losing its collective shirt over it. The collection at last month's extraordinary form Mass was just barely enough cover my paycheck (after I got paid, there was TWO DOLLARS left!).
How does this affect my working relationship with Fr. Fisette? It doesn't. In my 27 years as an organist in various parishes, I consider Fr. Fisette the best priest I've ever worked with (and one of very few around here that I trust). He's always been supportive of my work, my decisions, and any time I work with him, I am most comfortable. He's an excellent pastor, an excellent homilist, and an excellent employer (remember - I also worked with him at Holy Name). Those feelings have not changed, as, unlike my last two dismissals, this one is NOT a reflection on me or my work as a parish musician. Besides, at least I got advance warning this time, as did the parish via the bulletin.
Anyhoo, here is the final music list...
The kingdom of God..."Laudate Dominum"
Ave Verum Corpus...Mozart
Pange Lingua Gloriosi...Mode III
To Jesus Christ, our sov'reign King...Ich Glaub an Gott
Here's the skinny by the American Papist.
As the American Papist rightfully states, it doesn't take a black U.S. President to determine such a "trend". As much as I really like Pope Benedict XVI, I would have no problem with seeing Cardinal Arinze as Pope either.
The big difference between Cardinal Arinze and President-elect (cringe!) Osama Obama is that the Cardinal knows where it's at.
I'm still working on CVA #149. I should have it done within the next couple of days. This is what happens when you're on 60-hour work weeks.
Anyhoo, the contest I've been announcing had a deadline of November 1. I will extend it to November 10. For details, please listen to CVA #148 or CVA #147. The winner will be announced on CVA #150.
St. William Church, Warwick, RI
This is the weekend that my good friend Reuel Gifford was supposed to begin his new position as music director at St. William's, reuniting with a really good pastor he had worked with in a previous parish (until that pastor was reassigned to St. William's). However, the poor guy's been sick as a dog for the last couple of days. He landed up calling me Friday night to cover a funeral yesterday for him - he didn't sound too good at all. Some may remember that Reuel was my accompanist for a couple of choral concerts I conducted while I was music director at Holy Ghost. So, please pray for his recovery so that he may finally start work soon, and decent music will be restored at St. William's.
The organist who filled in at the 10:30 Mass this morning was awful - holding down chords with the left hand and the melody with the right, using the same stops throughout the entire Mass (using only the one expression pedal - the organ's an old Allen - for dynamics). Reuel had picked out the music, and with the exception of Communion, the substitute played what Reuel had picked, albeit terribly.
The pew books are Today's Missal and the Music Issue.
LASST UNS ERFREUEN...Ye watchers and ye holy ones
Alstott...The Lord is my shepherd and Alleluia (the 3/4 setting in C)
- (however, the cantor chanted the verse to Tone 8G, in G. C would have been a better key. Also, she announced the Psalm, which was really not necessary.)
Toolan...I am the bread of life
Schubert, adapted by Proulx...Sanctus, Christ has died, and Amen from Deutsche Messe.
Olawski...Agnus Dei (blech!)
Lowry...Shall we gather at the river
- (double blech! especially with the staccato chords - one for each quarter note. Reuel did NOT pick this, rest assured! If anything, once he finally starts work there, that kind of nonsense will cease!)
GOTT VATER! SEI GEPRIESEN...All praise and glad thanksgiving
The cantor, of course, announced "gathering", "preparation of the gifts", and "sending forth". At Communion she simply announced "let us sing...". Another dang extraordinary minister of Holy Communion attempted to put Jesus in my hands again. One thing went over good - Fr. Salmani, the pastor, gave an EXCELLENT homily. He really says Mass with class.
Dedication of St. John Lateran - November 9, 2008
9:30 and 11:00 AM - St. Peter Church, Warwick, RI
Next Sunday, I'm covering for two Masses at St. Peter's in Warwick. All decent selections (I didn't pick'em) except for the closing hymn. The organ is another Allen, probably from the mid 1970's. (One should note that a 30-year-old electronic organ is fairly old, while a 30-year-old pipe organ is still fairly new, especially with proper maintainance.)
The pew book is We Celebrate.
AURELIA...The Church's one foundation
Joncas...Let us go rejoicing
- (Though the seasonal Psalm for the "Last Weeks of Ordinary Time", part of this Psalm is also a translation of the Gradual of the day as found in the Gregorian Missal and Graduale Romanum.)
- (I'm cantoring from the organ console, so the verse will be sung to Psalm Tone 6F)
ST. CATHERINE...Faith of our fathers, living still
Vermulst...Sanctus from People's Mass
Danish...Christ has died and Amen
Olawski...Agnus Dei (blech!)
BICENTENNIAL...You satisfy the hungry heart
Schutte...City of God
- (triple blech! especially on a feast where we commemorate the dedication of the Pope's Cathedral in Rome! Christ is made the sure foundation or even A mighty fortress is our God would have been much more appropriate.)