Liturgical Tourism

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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justMary
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Parish / Diocese: Republic of Ireland

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by justMary »

Ephrem Feeley wrote:
blackthorn fairy wrote:Is this a record?

Probably not ...


Now, now, you know as well as I do that 35 mins probably is a local record for how LONG a summer-time Mass can last!

I hang out in a place about an hour up the road from blackthorn fairy's visit.

The liturgy committee from a church very near to my apartment allegedly told the parish priest that there was no reason for a normal Mass to take longer than 34 minutes - yes apparently they had timed it! Personally I'm happy to walk on by and travel to a parish in the suburbs where people sing, and which hasn't had a summer music break in the seven or so years I've been going there. Some weeks (winter or summer) it's been sparse, but there's always been at least some music on Sundays

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

Sigh
Today. the priest began the Gloria in Latin... there was that pause, the one where those who can, and who also are prepared to do it, sing the Gloria in Latin - in that pause where they have an aura of smug and the rest of us look at our feet and get ready to ponder our own thought - well after that pause, the organist began and self sang, Glory to God, glory in the highest, the Alleluia Amen one. I was smiling to myself.
Hymns were- For all the saints with much todo
Do not be Afraid I go before you
Soul of my Saviour
Hail Redeemer
and also the organist sang the Celtic Alleluia, the Psalm to chantiness, the Acclamation in the Eucharistic Prayer, the Holy Holy and the Lamb of God, both latter in Latin. Also they sang something during Communion. Which I have forgotten. Oh, and the Our Father - the other one in CFE that goes up, and then down, and then up etc.
Interestingly the introduction to all hymns was on nearly all occasions a full run through of the verse and then some, most lengthy introductions. There were other voices singing at the back. I think some harmonies attempted too. Lots of twiddlies and improvisations, descanted verse arrangements, that sort of thing.

Very accomplished musician completely enjoying themself. What's not to like?
uh oh!

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

Or it might be better said, completely enjoying themselves. But that plural does not convey what I was saying, exactly. So bad grammar, my bad.
uh oh!

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

Introit? Something sang in Latin by organist. The 2 minute silence. Maybe longer - I was counting with elephants and it seemed longer than 2 minutes. Then a hymn - to the tune of For Those in Peril on the Sea - but words on a sheet. Didn't have the words though. Then a sung Latin Kyrie instead of the Gloria.
Psalm sung by organist.
Plainsong Alleluia (no 15 in CFE) - verse sung by organist
Hymn - Abide with Me all verses. With flourishes.
Sung Acclamation in English
Holy Holy in Latin
Agnus Dei in Latin
Latin chant sung by organist with word Requiem followed Pie Jesu I think that might the name
Hymn - Dear Lord and Father of Mankind all verses
Hymn - The day thou givest Lord is ended all verses
Something on the organ which is popular but I have forgotten the name of.
Phew.
I was going to ask the priest if he knew there were English translations for all the Acclamations now? But thought it might be cheeky.
uh oh!

alan29
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by alan29 »

Christmas Midnight in a northern cathedral.
Twelve, yes twelve traditional carols led by a choir and organ both before and during the Mass including one after the creed. Excellent congregational singing from a multi-ethnic congregation. I was particularly impressed by a 9(?) year old black boy in front of me who was singing lustily while preserving his cool by doing "gangsta rap" hand gestures. :)
Much incense, well drilled servers and a decent homily from the bishop. Altogether joyous. Maybe the only blot was the choir who were less than delightful to listen to - but then I am super-sensitive to the contribution of those who put themselves forward to sing. I am sure others appreciated them.

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

12 carols!

Midnight Mass Yorkshire
Carols before Mass, a little and young choir and organist. Carols and some (odd) Acclamations sung.

Then after Communion, that introduction to -................................ O Holy Night. Oh no I thought. O Holy no no no.

And a young soprano began to sing. By the end of the second phrase I was listening, then I came out of the foetal position, gradually. I think it was 2 singers although could have been more. It was beautiful. Sung in the style of Beyonce. And perfect. Contemporary and beautiful and strong, pitch and harmonies perfect.
The priest ended with an allusion to the fact that you do not have to go x to hear good music.
It proper made my Christmas.
uh oh!

Mancunian
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:54 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by Mancunian »

Hello Alan,

Thank you for your comment below.

Maybe the only blot was the choir who were less than delightful to listen to - but then I am super-sensitive to the contribution of those who put themselves forward to sing. I am sure others appreciated them.[/quote]

After I had struggled to sing at Mass last Sunday morning (three masses plus three lots of carols in a week on a sore throat), I had been regretting having reluctantly allowed my arm to be twisted a couple of years ago to rejoin the choir at my parish church. Your email has convinced me that I should give up immediately.

And whenever there is a request for a volunteer for anything, I shall copy your email to the person making the request, lest I be accused of putting myself forward.

Should I assume that your own role in church music is divinely ordained rather than volunteered?

Mancunian

alan29
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by alan29 »

Sorry you were offended. None was meant.
Maybe I am wrong in assuming that a board devoted to liturgical music should contain comments about standards, no matter how mild and hedged about.

Mancunian
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:54 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by Mancunian »

Hello Alan,

I have no problem with criticism. Badly-played or -sung music is bad music. The main reason why I was considering my own position was that I felt that at my own parish church last Sunday morning no music would have been a significant improvement on what actually happened. But there was no explanation from you as to why the choir was "less than delightful" so it is hardly constructive ctiticism.

What bothered me was the swipe at "those who put themselves forward to sing". My own choir was struggling with people away with family, people at home looking after sick relatives, people off ill themselves, our organist with his wife who had given birth the previous week and the handful of us that were left struggling unaccompanied with coughs, colds, sore throats and too much singing over the previous week. The result was a long way short of delightful.

I've noticed before that some people on this forum seem to have a very irregular verb:

I have a music ministry
You volunteer to play the guitar
He puts himself forward to sing in the choir.

Other groups of volunteers never seem to be accused of putting themselves forward in the same way, and some allowances are made for amateurs doing their (sometimes poor) best. Should say the flower arrangers or altar servers be critiqued on the same "super-sensitive" basis?

Mancunian

alan29
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by alan29 »

Sorry. It was my unfortunate turn of phrase.
I do think there is a conversation that needs to be had about minimum standards for all sorts of ministries, not only music.
With choirs in particular there is a balance to be had between the needs of the congregation to take their full part and the desire of some to be in a choir. And there has at some stage to be made a judgement as to whether or not something is actually supporting the liturgy and helping people worship or not.
A hard call, I know. But we have all come across organists and singers who are so inept or insensitive that they are actually a stumbling block to congregational singing.
Yes, I think readers, servers etc should be critiqued, and sometimes are, too. In fact many parishes and deaneries offer training sessions for those particular ministries. Far fewer actual training days for singers and other musicians in my experience. There really should be something on offer beyond a rare look at seasonal music.

Mancunian
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:54 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by Mancunian »

Hello Alan,

Thank you for your reply. No offence taken.

I might well have agreed with you about the choir that you heard, but without knowing why they sounded less than delightful I just can't say.

I agree with you entirely about the need for minimum standards for ministries, although I don't think that the phenomena of people pushing themselves forward at the expense of worship is confined to choirs. But as you say it is a hard call, and ultimately it is the parish priest's call and not mine. Churches would struggle without many volunteers, and it is impossible to hold everyone to the standards that one would ideally like to see. (I don't expect to see perfect liturgy this side of heaven.)

The issue of diocesan or deanery support for music training is an interesting one. I think that communication is needed to avoid the danger of each parish becoming locked in its own narrow repertoire and approach, and encouragement needed to help volunteers trying to provide music on a regular basis to support worship to do so to the best of their ability, whilst avoiding the risk of imposing a standardised approach on different parishes with different traditions, resources and needs. I would be no happier seeing a diocese try to force every parish to have a traditional SATB choir or to sing only plainsong than to see it try to compel all parishes that do have a choir to disband it and replace it with an instrumental ensemble. Trying to provide meaningful training to a number of groups with a wide range of repertoires, styles and instrumentation would be very challenging, which may be why it does not seem to happen.

Best wishes,

Mancunian

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

Mancunian said

Trying to provide meaningful training to a number of groups with a wide range of repertoires, styles and instrumentation would be very challenging, which may be why it does not seem to happen.

It does happen nationally. SSG provides it.

We are very observant when engaged in Tourism - it seems to be impossible to be attending Mass and not hyper aware of what is going on musically. That is how it is. I should not have assumed the foetal position just because a parish planned "O Holy Night" - what and how they do things are not my affair. But I did.
Oooo I have some bad memories - of one person who did put themselves forward to sing it very very badly, comically badly. On several occasions. And someone else, who put themselves forward to sing Silent Night in German. Just that half tone sharp. I'm grinding my teeth just thinking about it.
Most of the music on my travels has been very good and this is connected with the skills of the parish priest. Too often priests are not able to manage the people that manage the music, including volunteer singers. Once is gets away from Liturgy it always goes pear shaped anyway. This would include music that is planned because kids are coming for preparation and so on, as well as Christmas elaborations. In the case of the choir above, they were Liturgically beneficial. A heartily sung psalm by an untrained voice might be better than a trained voice that is empty of spirit. The girls I witnessed sing O Holy Night (probably not Beyonce, more Maria Carey or someone like that) that was Liturgical and was also beautiful.

The main benefit of tourism has been actually being able to be in other parishes and not tied up to whatever is happening in one parish. Really educational because for years I was not really able to be anywhere else. Stale and jaded. We should all get out more.

Doesn't it all get celestially mixed anyway? Your bit and my bit. All part of the continuous celebration plus angels?

Therefore the choir that were commented upon, they just need to be described as Cosmic. (I was a very Cosmic organist).
uh oh!

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VML
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by VML »

Thanks Oops, I always enjoy your posts,
wishing you and everyone here many blessings in this Year of Mercy.
Veronica

oopsorganist
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by oopsorganist »

Well now.
That was fun.
A big music group - three guitars and a flute. A bass guitar makes a big difference to the balance of guitar groups.
Modern hymns. Good Acclamations.
SIngers - one had a mike but not dominant.
Congregation all smiles, a song as the children went to their bit - about joining a circle.
Lots of smiles and a priest swaying to the music. He even sang in tune at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer which is because he was feeling more confident and let go a bit I think.

A man held up his baby during the Gloria and swayed her to the music. Joy.
uh oh!

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mcb
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:39 pm
Parish / Diocese: Our Lady's, Lillington
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Re: Liturgical Tourism

Post by mcb »

That sounds nice, Oops. Where were you?

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