You Can't Go Back
It's been really hard going back to my church since I've given up the reins as music director. Ann, the new director is a good pianist and has a pretty good sense of the lturgy, but I just cringe every time she makes a change.
Here are some changes:
1 - Dropped the Haas Mass of Light Gloria for a setting by Andrews. The Haas was a giant hit with the assembly - they belted out the refrain, and sang well on the verses. We were also using one of mine for awhile - it was popular too, but I gave it up because they did so well on the Haas. Back to the Andrews - they really sound half-hearted on it - and the middle part gets no participation at all (except me - I stay with her!). This is also a change because during Ordinary Time we sang the Kyrie and spoke (or skipped - pastor's idea) the Gloria. I'm okay with THAT change, but dropping the Haas at the same time was ill-considered.
2 - Has the assembly sing the psalm refrain from the hymnals, rather than as a dialogue. A small deal, but has taken the response down a notch.
3 - Dropped our well-known Ps. 95, If Today (Haugen) for a bland new replacement. Found out later it was one of hers, so I don't have much room to talk, I guess - I saddled those guys with my responses all the time, but it was usually to achieve a different sense of the psalm - hers just swapped one lullaby for another.
4 - The worst - replaced the second communion song with a "meditation piece". Aakkk! There is no liturgical justification for this (though the practice is widespread) - but I GOT RID OF that albatross when I came in. Now it's back.
5 - Ever since 9/11/2001, we've sung God Bless America immediately after each mass. She's continued the tradition, but her arrangement is awful! Can't decide if it sounds more like a school assembly setting or a vaudeville number (oom-pah oom-pah oom-pah oom-pah...). Sheesh. Nothing like a church song.
I imagine this all sounds kind of petty. The problem for me is that it makes it so hard to worship. I'm sitting there, continually picking her stuff apart instead of worshiping. Msybe I just gotta find a new church, but the people there feel like family. I doubt I'll ever find that again until (unless?) I go back into music ministry.