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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

August 4, 2010

Bridal Chit-chat (7): The Unexpected Wedding

evelyn @ 1:17 pm

I had just returned home after playing for a wedding in my church. I had kicked off my fancy sandals and was padding about in the kitchen making myself a well-earned cup of tea, when the phone rang.

It was the minister of one of the local kirks. Could I play at a wedding? I rooted out the diary and grabbed a pencil.

Me: When is the wedding to be?

Minister: At 3.30.

Me: And the date?

Minister: 3.30 TODAY! In twenty minutes!

Me: What!!

Minister: The guests are all in the church, the bride is running to time, and the church organist hasn’t turned up. Please, please, can you help?

Me: Yes, of course I will. What’s the music?

Minister: Two hymns. I forget what they are, but they are straightforward.

Me: Yes, but what about entrance, exit and register-signing?

Minister: I don’t know. Just play anything.

By fortunate chance, I was all dressed up for a wedding, with a bag full of wedding music, so all I needed to do was put the fancy sandals on again and jump into my car.

The minister was pacing the pavement outside the church when I arrived. The bride was almost due, but was going to be asked to appear to be late, so that I could get some pre-nuptial music in. In a side room, while I replaced the fancy sandals with my organ shoes for the second time that day, the minister went through the order of service; it was at that point that I realised that I had never played at a Church of Scotland wedding before. Then I entered the church as unobtrusively as possible.

Instinct told me, as I did a quick survey of the guests before slipping on to the organ bench, that there was probably more than a 50% chance that the traditional music might be what they’d ordered, so I gave them Wagner and Mendelssohn, with Jesu, joy at the register-signing. Everyone seemed happy, though some of them may have wondered.

I spared a thought for the errant organist as I pocketed his fee, and wished I could be a fly on the wall when he next met his minister.

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