Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Have Been to Church

Tonight was our "away game" for the folk group. Once a month, we play at the 5:00 Mass at our parish's other Worship Site.

I found out during the morning retreat I attended that this weekend's Gospel was the Lord's Prayer. Our folk group loves the Lord's Prayer. We used to sing it every Sunday during Mass. It was kind of a signature of the group. It's a peppy arrangement and we'd sing it with gusto, matched with similar enthusiasm from the congregation.

Our current pastor is not a fan of the sung Lord's Prayer, at least not the way we sing it. For him, it's chant during certain seasons or just recite it. Chant really doesn't mix well with our particular blend of instruments (guitars, bass, mandolin, the occasional harmonica or didgeridoo when Big Brother is so moved) but we'll do that when we have to. We were all sad when Father pulled the plug on our favorite arrangement of the Lord's Prayer. We're not allowed to sing it during Mass. Period. No reason given.

People protested to us about it and we told them to ask Father. It wasn't our choice but we are doing as we're told.

Anyway, we're also required to sing a Prelude and Father wants that to be peppy. So we came up with the idea of pitching the Prelude song we'd practiced for tonight and putting in the Lord's Prayer. None of us have taken it out of our music binders--hope springs eternal.

We sang it for Prelude. The congregation at this Worship Site (I hate that term!) wasn't familiar with it, but we were beyond happy to be singing it and did so with our usual gusto. The Prelude is not a song where assembly participation is expected anyway.

After the song was over, we had a few moments' breather before beginning the entrance procession. But at that point, the rest of the songs were an afterthought to me. I had BEEN TO CHURCH.

Never underestimate the power of music to move someone's soul.


Ellen said...

Went to SH church in Mt Holly tonight (well, actually Sunday night). It's amazing how much more I felt like I had been to church than I feel at my own parish. I really dislike the "worship site" thing too. We were told that our parishes were combining to go to one priest instead of the three that we had as two parishes. And yet, we still have two. The diocese could have reduced the other parish by one and left the two parishes alone.

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Ellen, you know as well as I do that this whole thing is a numbers game. Although I would bet that the numbers have dropped considerably at my parish--possibly lower than the target number in the first place. Don't know how it has worked out at yours.

Ellen said...

I've noticed that many of the parishioners from my parish have dropped out of site. The bishop did admit to my husband that he made a mistake at our parish. Question is, will he fix it before he steps down.