Sunday, October 9, 2011


Periodically, I've been known to get a compliment from the "person in the pew" - not just at Sacred Heart, but just about anywhere I've served as an organist, whether as the principal organist or as a fill in. Oftentimes, it's my voice that gets more compliments than my organ playing, which is fine, although at a Mass as early as 7:30 AM, I often like to think the opposite. After all, Sunday is the one day I awaken at 5:45 AM and I sound about as tired as I am sometimes. The rest of the week I often sleep till about 8 (unless there is a funeral).

The compliments I usually watch out for the most, and I say this out of 30 years experience as an organist, are the ones that come from any woman who is old enough to be (but isn't) my mother. That is because most of THOSE compliments will often come with a "but". The compliment I got after 7:30 Mass this morning from a woman who fit the stereotype I just mentioned is no exception.

The woman started out with "You have an amazing voice!", to which I replied, "Thank you." "However, you never play any songs that I know."

Where the sam hell have I heard that before? Probably anywhere I've worked. I already knew what songs she was looking for, as they're the typical fare of most mainstream Catholic parishes, not to mention I did work at Sacred Heart for a brief period in 1989, under a pastor who is now retried. In 1989, Sacred Heart WAS one of those mainstream parishes. Let's go back to the conversation, shall we?

I went on to explain to the woman that I do not pick the hymns. "Well, who does?" "The pastor does. I only pick the Mass and the communion anthem." "Oh," she said with a change of tone for the droopier. "Were you looking for songs that sound more like pop music?" "Yes. In fact, I go to some of my friends' churches and they play those there." She mentioned two churches in particular. I will not mention them here. I will say that they are in neighboring towns. I explained to her, "You know, those styles of music were never meant to be played at Mass". "I know, but I miss those." "Sorry, but I'm with Father."

If I wasn't "with Father" on what the Church teaches on liturgy and music, my chances of being Sacred Heart's organist would most likely be slim and none, especially when you consider his desire to restore the liturgy to its highest beauty, something to be highly appreciated.

So here I stand. I'm with Father. And Father is with Mother - Holy Mother, the Church.


1 comment:

frival said...

It's always very good when Father has your back. Even better when he's making sure everything is going in the right direction. You're blessed to have that kind of support.