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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

September 25, 2020

Organists don’t count. So what’s new?

evelyn @ 5:14 pm

‘Organists don’t count, do they’, someone said as I passed a group in the church porch deep in socially-distanced conversation. Well, we’ve always known that, I thought. Why mention it now?

We organists are used to a certain invisibility: ‘the organ played’, ‘the singing was good today’, ‘let’s just have silence [i.e. background organ music] during the ceremony’. It’s actually good for both ego and nerves to be regarded, or rather disregarded, in this way, and I’ve never really objected to it.

Then I realised they were talking about the virus. Although the horrible thing is having a second wave, the numbers attending our two Masses are steadily increasing, and last week they passed the maximum permitted, leaving one or two people stuck outside. Our priest was now discussing with the stewards whether to have a third Mass or to start a booking system, or both.

I hung around to listen, and as the conversation progressed, it became clear that in the Covid world organists do count. Everyone does, apparently, even babes in arms. All are equal.

But at least the organist still gets to make the most noise. Although the babes in arms can be serious rivals …


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