Sunday, June 02, 2002

Well, THAT didn't work!

On the wedding:
Let's start with errata:
(a) No modulation in Gesu Joy
(b) Haas' Ps. 116, "The Name of God" for Table Prep, rather than the Cooney/Daigle/Petrunak thing
(c) The Ash Grove for recessional rather than Ode - and I haven't figured out how to do Emerson tricks with AG. Yet. I'll have to listen to "She Belongs to Me" a few dozen more times.

And on to the real fiasco. The mass. Scott Hahn says every mass, no matter how badly executed, is perfect. Scott didn't see this one.
Prelude was fine. Caroline, guitarless for the past 3 months while she fought CFS, brought her Ovation today. Added a lot to the Stookey, Haas, and Mass of Creation.
Entrance - I practiced and practiced (and even practised, British style), got the whole thing down - and then my hand cramped. and I lost my place. And the QS-8 wasn't responding when I spanked it (gentle reader, this is a musical term. Shame on you), so it all sounded bland and mushy (another musical term).
Gathering Song: Unfreakingbelievable. They didn't sing. Not only the (visiting, remember) RCs, but the protestants either. EVERYBODY knows Amazing Grace. I knew then that we were in for a long, long wedding - bride picked all this stuff for the assembly to sing.
Psalm - Lovely to listen to, so listen they did.
Gospel Acc - see Psalm
Homily - not his best. Our pastor was a stand-in for the scheduled priest, the bride's uncle, who had a sextuple (!!!) bypass a couple of weeks ago.
Prayers of the Faithful - OH COME ON. A number of protestants didn't even join this. Stood there, jaws clamped shut. Even prayers for blessing the couple. Grrr.
Table Prep - See Psalm and Gospel Acc above. At least we sounded good on all three. Except I got a frog once, and hit some note not found in nature. But then it dawned on me - this was how weddings were in my old parish! Put together our best musicians, put our best crafted songs out there, if they wanted to join in, fine, if not, we still sounded good (and still got paid). I just felt stupid HERE, doing all this cheerleading trying to get people to sing, and I was dreading the hymn of praise coming up. If you haven't figured out why, I'll clue you in below.
Mass - huh. Heard a couple of voices. Protestants stood (defiantly?), RCs kneeled eventually.
Our Father - I'm standing there, sending a mental vibe, "Not the chant! Not the chant!" - Fr. started the Snow chant. I've spoken with him before - he once thought, maybe still does, that the whole universe knows the Snow chant. He is, of course, WRONG. so we could have finally had our nice, unifying moment, except for that trespasses/debtors thing, where we all spoke the Lord's Prayer. But NO. The RCs joined in, anyhow.
Lamb - several distinct voices from the RC side.
Communion - THIS was the low point. Bride received, groom did not. After I announce the hymn (instrumerntal music going already), Fr. announces that communion is for Catholics only, though others can come up and get a blessing - or stay and pray (C'mon Father, they could SING!), and after that, we launch into "One Bread, One Body". It was the worst! This incredible, horrible moment of disunion, and here we are singing about us being one. Aaagh! "One cup of blessing, which we bless" - but we won't share it with you, you heathen. Puhleaze. THIS was not the foretaste of heaven that Scott promised us. Damned near the opposite. And singing THAT song just made it worse.
Hymn of Praise - Bad choice. Doing it at all was a bad choice. But beyond that, The RCs from the neighboring parish don't know it, though it's one of OUR parish's staples. I was really banking on the protestants, but after Amazing Grace, I didn't hold out much hope. If they did know NETTLETON, they didn't let on. Most didn't even crack their hymnals.
Recessional - whatever.

Afterwards, found out that, in this case, "protestant" meant "Baptist". Don't know which flavor, there are so many, but there are some Baptist churches that do not sing, and object to singing. And maybe some that only do Praise and Worship. And a far greater number that object to all things Catholic.

I think I could have done a better job counseling the bride. But I did ask if they were a "singing bunch", and she thought so. And I explained why it was important - because these "community building moments" can fall flat on their faces. Like this time.

[rant]One more thing - at MY kids' weddings, I will recommend with all my might that they skip communion. The sacrament here is the marriage. It's valid with or without the presence of communion. To bring this element of disunity into the picture (my Mom is Presbyterian, hence not welcome at the Catholic table) is just wrong. I'd like to see the American Bishops relax their stance on sharing the table at weddings and funerals - they DO have the authority, but have chosen to close the table at this point.[/rant]

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