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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

September 19, 2016

Bridal chit-chat (23): When the scene just froze

evelyn @ 3:11 pm


They were processing out to the Trumpet Voluntary, and the bride and groom had already passed under the gallery. Suddenly the guests following behind halted. Guests standing in the pews ready to make their way out also stopped where they were. The entire church was at a standstill. The only thing moving was the music.

At first, I thought it was just a log-jam, perhaps caused by a photographer taking pictures of the bridal couple exiting the church. But the pause went on and on, minute after minute. Even with a log-jam there is some inching forward here and there. Not this time, however. No-one moved, not even to chat to each other. Everyone was just staring at the door. It was like a video with the pause button pressed.

All this time I’d been bashing out the Trumpet Voluntary, going round and round. I thought I’d better give them a break from the decibels, so I removed a few stops and even added a variation or two. After a further few minutes, I decided they must be sick of the Trumpet Voluntary. I certainly was. So I stopped. I got off the organ bench, and looked over the gallery rail. No-one noticed me. They were all still staring ahead at the door.

Had they really become frozen? As in a science fiction film where time stands still? Then I noticed our priest, pottering about at the altar, not apparently bothered by the situation, and certainly not frozen.

All of a sudden the pause button was released. The crowd surged forward. I returned to the organ bench and played them out with a fairly subdued Trumpet Voluntary. Once they had gone I hurried down to our priest to find out what had happened.

‘Oh, it was raining’, he said casually.

All became clear then. It was one of those days when beautiful sunshine alternates with short but intensely heavy downpours. Had the bridal pair left when they were meant to, they would have been completely deluged. So everyone in the church had been watching the downpour through the open door, waiting for it to cease.

Everyone except me. I couldn’t see the door, and hadn’t a clue what was going on.

We have a huge window in the gallery, but it is frosted. There is talk that it might be changed to stained glass, with some clear panes included. That change can’t come quickly enough for me.


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