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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist



September 4, 2011

The Great Change has started!

evelyn @ 4:19 pm

It was when I looked at the hymn list yesterday that I began to stress. Two post-Vatican II horrors and a really tricky modern Protestant hymn by a composer I loathe. All difficult to play, especially on the small electronic, which we are stuck with at the moment. Oh no. No.

No! No! Not on the day when we are introducing new Missal music. I couldn’t face it.

Phoned PP and said all this. I also said people would surely prefer familiar straightforward hymns if they were having to work at new Mass parts. And of course I realised that when the compiler had drawn up the list, the new Mass music date hadn’t been set. It was just bad luck.

He understood. Said I could choose what I liked, so I picked well-known, good tunes which I could play without music. Then I could throw aside the massive two-volume hymnary and have nothing but the new stuff in front of me.

It went well, after all. Cantor ran through the new Sanctus beforehand with the people. The choir, who already knew it, happened to be scattered about the church, and people seemed to catch on. We used one of our old refrain Glorias, with the cantor singing the new words. The new Memorial Acclamation was set to a tune we knew, and we did the ICEL Agnus.

So I decided, as I busked my way through good old St Denio at the end, that the moral here was that hymns should be reasonably painless all round, and perhaps even cut down in numbers, during this no-man’s-land between now and the beginning of Advent. It would help the organist no end.

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