Friday, July 19, 2002
Thursday, July 18, 2002
Songlist is the usual, except we're doing (blush) Lara's Theme From Dr. Zhivago, Somewhere, My Love. Apparently this was the decedent's personal song, he'd sing it to his wife, his kids, and his grandkids. Prelude only, though. Not in the mass, not on my watch! Family was fine with that.
So I went to Border's last night, and found that WB has put out three fake books (Standards, Jazz, and Blues), much in the tradition of "The Real Book", except these are legal. But they even use the same typeface. Anyone who ever used the infamous RB will instantly recognize it. So I bought the standards book - over half my funeral fee, but good for a lifetime. I still use my Real Book, 15 years later.
Right after the funeral, I rehearse with Debbie for a wedding the following week. Still not sure what we're doing, bride & mom want to get together after 11:00 mass on Sunday. Since our rehearsal is before that, not sure how much we'll be able to accommodate. I know they want the Schubert Ave, though, so we'll rehearse that.
Monday, July 15, 2002
I'll have to be more careful. "St. Blog's proofreader", over at nihil obstat, snagged me in THREE errors. Biggest error - not checking his site sooner...
I'm not redoing "pricy" until I check a dictionary. Hmm. Maybe an occasional misspelling will increase site traffic?
Sunday, July 14, 2002
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Friday, July 05, 2002
Contemporary Christian Artist - Mark Hargrave - Contemporary - Christian - Artist - Singer - Songwriter - Recording - Music - SonLight - Guitarist - Composer - Footprints - Footprints in the Sand - Folk - Slidell - Louisiana
Mark and I go around a bit about politics, but he's a good guy, and a great voice for Catholicism. Give him a listen...
Wednesday, July 03, 2002
Just got a nice note from Marcy on my personal issue (the one I haven't decided whether to post here yet) - she's been there too. So now we're praying for each other.
Anyhow, WTG, Marcy!
Tuesday, July 02, 2002
Four of the folks over at npmusers took me up on my offer to send copies of my "Even the Rocks Would Cry Out". I mailed them today, a few bucks postage. Tossed in my Psalm 66 for one of 'em, my published "Joy!" for another.
I've always gotten a kick out of the thought that someone else somewhere might be singing one of my songs. This is one of my better ones:
Even the rocks would cry out,
Even these stones would name you "Lord";
If every voice were stilled,
If every tongue were silent,
Even the rocks would cry out that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Copyright 2001, Jay Ricketts. All rights reserved.
So I'm paying to give my songs away - but I bet Johnny Appleseed had to buy his own seeds sometimes, too.
Monday, July 01, 2002
My last weekend at St. C's was far from a thing of beauty. Bangless, whimpering, tearless. A few warm farewells, a card (with cash! I spent it on bowling) from the deacon, a couple of strange, almost weird, guest priests, a "new" psalm - Haas' 116 - we'd sung it responsorially before, but I taught them the verses this time.
And then it was over. I packed up my remaining stuff - magazines, sheet music, cables. I made arrangements with my successor (because they can never "replace" me) to loan my wedding music until she can replace it, and I was gone. We'll swap keys Thursday.
I still need a place to practice my organ lesson - I'll broach subject w/ Fr. and Ann on Thursday. I'm still a parishioner, maybe they'll cut me some slack. Sad to leave it behind, but I feel oddly liberated today. O freedom, O freedom, freedom is coming, oh yes!
Hold my hand
with me, if only just for this moment
As we stand as
before our maker, praying the prayer that Jesus taught
When we don't know what else to pray, let's
pray and touch. Together.
Touch me while
We hallow God's Name,
Touch me as
We long for the kingdom,
Feel my hand tremble as
We ask that God's will be done on earth,
Secretly hoping he shares our will.
Touch my hand and
We will ask for bread every day:
God has the kingdom,
Foreverandeverandeverandever. And ever.
I have your hand,
Just for this moment.
Thank you for that.
When we touch again,
will pray that
share the peace of Christ.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Before we share the table.
When we share Christ's table,
I will have touched Jesus
Three times today.
Copyright 2002, Jay Ricketts. All rights reserved.
Saturday, June 29, 2002
Nice interchange with one of my teen choir grads - he wanted some of my songs to take back to his campus parish (Mich Tech), juice things up a little.
I was glad to oblige. He, one of my few readers, would hum through the songs 'til they came back to him, then he'd get this excited little smile, and say something like, "Ooh! I remember this one!".
There are few better ways to have your work reaffirmed than with youthful enthusiasm. I asked him to let me know if they decided to use anything.
Friday, June 28, 2002
I've been trying for 6 years to make my life organized without using a Franklin - they're pricy and bulky - and have finally given up.
My most recent system involved using GIA's Worship Week planner - 2 pages per week, extra space on Sat/Sun. Worked well for church stuff, then used my Franklin back pages for extra notes, and carried a steno pad around work for notes there. Work was really suffering, though.
I think the deal is that Franklin's two pages per day gives the user a no-doubt-about-it place to write notes. With a smaller day's surface, I was always worried about WHERE to write stuff. Analysis paralysis, my life's story. We'll see if returning to the high-priced world of Franklin refills brings me back to my previous level of organization.
BTW, this previous level would still be "woefully disorganized" by other people's standards. It is probably the best I'll ever do. My 5th grade nickname was "Day Late and a Dollar Short". Thanks, Mr. Lund...
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Kids are on their way to Steubenville. We had Exposition and Benediction, peppered with lots of Praise-n-Worship songs. Gave the CCLI license a workout!
Here's the playlist.
Entrance: Awesome God (Mullins)
...O Salutaris (missalette translation, plus Latin)
...I Pledge This Song to You (Cowan)
...Open the Eyes of My Heart - one of my favorite P-n-W songs. I forget the composer.
...You Are My All in All (Jernigan)
Gospel Acclamation: Agnus Dei (Smith) - if you take the Third Day version, strip it down to bass & guitar, and then play those parts on piano, that's kind of what we do. It works better than you'd imagine.
...Come Into My Heart (Cowan)
...I Exalt Thee (???) - it's on the Time/Life Songs 4 Worship CD - composer escapes me.
...Refiner's Fire (Doerksen) - started midtempo, realized they're used to it faster, so I did a tempo change before v. 2. Sounded like we had planned it that way.
....Tantum Ergo (missalette translation, no Latin) - Fr. hates the translation in RitualSong.
Exit: Shout to the Lord (Zschech)
Nice level of participation from the kids. My cohort, Caroline, was on mic. This was our last mass together, kind of bittersweet. Also my last mass w/ Fr. - they'll both be in Steubenville with the kids this weekend.
Side note: I'm not a big fan of P-n-W. Fits my skill set well, though (WAY better than hymns or chant), and it IS cool to see kids sing this stuff so reverently and enthusiastically. But a whole service full of this stuff is like a meal that's 8 courses, all of 'em dessert. "Blehhh", as Charlie Brown used to say.
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
Do I post personal stuff? Not thoughts, opinions, or observations, but the REALLY personal stuff? I've seen blogs go both directions - the teen-angst blogs that are all personal divulgences, and the commentary blogs that rarely even hint at the personal life of the blogger.
In my opening blog, I gave some biographical details, but haven't talked about my family much since, if at all. Now that we've had something newsworthy happen, do I post it here? I'm low traffic now, but I do get hits, so I can't pretend no one will see it.
So I'm thinking it through now. I'll let you know.
I was blogsurfing when I saw this one. No I'm not posting her site, 'cos she doesn't have commenting or mail links posted, so I can't ask her permission. But the quote itself is to good to pass up. She's referring to her sudden ability to "pick up strays":
"They're flocking to me like the salmon at Capistrano!"
I think the malaprop was on purpose. But funny either way - intended or no...
Monday, June 24, 2002
or: "What would've happened if Mark hadn't jumped on the mic?"
From Mark, at the Contemporary Catholic Music group over at
After the baptism I played on Saturday, and before the Mass was going to get
its late start, I started playing my before-Mass songs. Dan Schutte's "What
You Hear in the Dark" went without incident. I was then playing Carlos
Rosas' "Santo, Santo, Santo/Holy, Holy, Holy" -- and was not pleased with
how it was going -- when a woman approached me and appealed to me to ask the
assembly if there was a doctor in the house; the baptismal recipient's
great-aunt (maybe great-great aunt) needed medical attention. I asked for a
doctor or a nurse or anybody who know something about medicine; I saw no
Not knowing the nature of the problem, I went into my next song, Taize's
"Jubilate Deo." I figured the woman was old enough to remember Latin and at
least might be comforted by hearing that old language in church. But a big
squeak and a couple of squawks from the front pew indicated she had taken a
turn for the worse. I stopped playing, checked to see whether anyone had
called 911 (they had), and stood stupefied for a couple of minutes. I heard
one of the woman's relatives say to her. "Keep breathing. Keep breathing."
Then I thought, "Wouldn't it be a scandal if everybody just stays in their
seats gawking at the front pew and this woman dies?" So I got up to my
micrphone and said, "Church, let's pray." I went through five Our Fathers,
Hail Marys and Glory Bes -- pretty darn fast, my wife told me later -- and
as I was wrapping up the fifth Glory Be, D.C. emergency medical personnel
came into the church and attended to the woman. She revived, with the same
kind of squeak and squawk and a couple of "Jesus, Jesus"es. The pastor came
out, vested for Mass, and gave the woman the Sacrament of the Sick and
prounced blessings on her and on us. We started Mass a half-hour late,
without an entrance procession. I think everyone was off their stride during
the Liturgy of the Word, but got it back again by the offertory.
Thanks, Mark. I'll know what to do when it happens on my watch now.
Last weekend, the parish had a "Goodbye, Jay" reception after each mass. It was really nice to see folks turn out, even if the lure was more the free food than the chance to pat me on the back.
Coolest part was a big piece of posterboard that was my "card" from the parish. 100+ signatures, most with comment. All nice, some deep and clearly heartfelt.
Also got a note (and a plate full of date bars) from the mom of one of my teen choir grads. In it, she quoted a neighbor as saying that, although she doesn't like to sing in church, she often couldn't help joining in, because the songs were so infectious and joyful.
If there's a common thread here, it's that I've helped the parish find its voice. I have two big concerns - (1) will they continue to sing for the next DM?, and (2) I seem to have developed a rep as "the fun organist". The latter concerns me because that was really not what I was trying to do - sounds too much like pandering.
I recall my first year there, after I had them singing all this upbeat stuff, I pulled way back for Advent, and we jumped in using chant-based acclamations and low-key hymns. A number of folks complained bitterly - "We want to sing those fun songs again...". I explained the liturgical cycle, the ebb & flow, some of them got it, I think. But the struggle began way back then to be more than just, "the party guy". I know some of the pullback I got from Fr. was along the same lines - as I got more liturgical in my orientation, he wanted to know "what happened to that guy I hired?" Sigh...
Ann, the new DM, camped out with me at the bench all day yesterday. I think she's up to the task, I just hope the parish gives her a chance. I'll do my best to support her from the pews.