All things to all people?

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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Nick Baty
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:13 pm

Mancunian wrote:...attend the Saturday evening Mass, joining those regulars who prefer to avoid any music
Not even Alleluia, Holy and Amen?

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VML
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by VML » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:24 pm

Absolutely, Nick. We do at least sing the Alleluia every Mass including week days.

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Nick Baty
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Nick Baty » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:38 pm

I want to "like" just as a I can on Facebook!

Mancunian
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Mancunian » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:48 pm

Nick Baty wrote:
Mancunian wrote:...attend the Saturday evening Mass, joining those regulars who prefer to avoid any music
Not even Alleluia, Holy and Amen?


Not even the Alleluia, Holy and Amen, I regret to say. For our Saturday regulars, even that would be a musical step too far. They'll SAY them loudly :D. The last parish priest tried to introduce a simple sung alleluia, and they objected vociferously to that.

I know that the sung Mass is normative, you know that the sung Mass is normative - but they won't change. Fortunately the Sunday congregation sings well whichever group is providing the music that day.

Mancunian

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VML
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by VML » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:53 am

But…(further to my last post, and since this is about 'All things etc.) This evening we have a memorial Mass for a young woman who died last year.

After the first reading I am required to play 'As I kneel before you.' A right funny psalm, but PP's favourite! He will probably insist 'they' asked for it, :? but we did not sing it for years before he came, and now it comes in every other funeral, not always in lieu of a psalm- that is often a poem.

And on Sunday, FHC ends with 'Happy Day', because he likes it, the children love it, (and I think it's ghastly.) The worship music leader is a teacher in the school, and I have paid for a download copy of the music, but he only has it with the chords.
Dignity doesn't come in to it, but at least it's in keeping with this thread.

And we are singing the Eldonian Gloria.

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Nick Baty
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Nick Baty » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:04 pm

Dear VML,
After a very stressful day you have made me smile. My parish really doesn't like Eldonian Gloria but I'm pleased it's working for you!
Nick :D

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by High Peak » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:53 pm

Back, briefly, to my dilemma: the mixture I put together for Pentecost didn't go down universally well. Our music group are in a choir loft and so it is not easy to tell how well hymn selections, etc. have been received; so I often ask friends and acquaintances for constructive criticism. I was informed that there was some eye-rolling during the Veni Creator Spiritus and comments such as "self-indulgent"!!

You win some, you lose some.

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Nick Baty
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Nick Baty » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:28 pm

I think you're onto a loser as long as you have the musicians at the back - makes any sort of communication very difficult - although I know there are those who disagree.

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by High Peak » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:09 pm

Nick Baty wrote:I think you're onto a loser as long as you have the musicians at the back - makes any sort of communication very difficult - although I know there are those who disagree.


It most certainly does have some disadvantages (not least that, not being as fit as I should be, I'm often gasping for breath from climbing the stairs after receiving Communion when I am meant to be singing a solo!! :lol: ) but in a Georgian church of this design there is absolutely no alternative. Hence my group texts to said friends and acquaintances asking for constructive feedback.

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Terry Quinn » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:41 pm

Music/Folk groups are, I feel, best positioned at the front of the church to best engage and lead the congregation. If however they are in full view, it can be most distracting and sometimes makes it impossible to focus on the Mass itself. All those mysterious looking instruments and other electrical contraptions being fiddled with could be more interesting than what is taking place in the Sanctuary.

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by High Peak » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:34 pm

This will give you an idea of what we are dealing with (if I manage to insert an image!!!):- Image

And a view of the choir loft at the back. (the pews are absent as the church had just been decorated):- Image

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Southern Comfort » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:53 pm

High Peak wrote:but in a Georgian church of this design there is absolutely no alternative.


High Peak, there's nearly always an alternative, and judging from the photo you have included in your next post there is one for you too. It will mean "losing" three/four pews at the front r.h. or l.h. side — you turn them sideways on and put the musicians there, with the director, who can then also act as songleader for the people, nearest the central aisle (but not in it!). More than a few churches have adopted that solution, and, while not ideal (don't bother to list the disadvantages — we know what they are!), it can work as long as there is a will to make it work.

The choice of r.h. or l.h. side will depend on whether the music director is left- or right-handed, and, more importantly, on easy sight lines from the organ console in the rear (although in these days of closed-circuit TV that is much less of a problem than it once was). Often the priest will be the only reason for not trying and/or succeeding with this. Losing four pews is something that priests are often reluctant to do, but with the musicians downstairs this sets free overflow seating in the loft at the back...

It may be necessary to experiment to get it as good as it can be, and of course experimenting with layouts is something that our parishes are notoriously bad at!

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by High Peak » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:54 pm

Radical!!

And not for the short-term (partly because my group plays just once a fortnight and at the Vigil - Sunday morning Mass is more "traditional" with "choir" and organ).

However, it is one to keep in mind for medium term.

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Nick Baty
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Re: All things to all people?

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:44 pm

But as your choir does the same job as your group, then they should be there too!
I agree with SC about turning some benches side on. Depending on the space between the front row and the sanctuary step (and the number in your choir) an alternative might be able to use a few chairs placed in a similar position.
We have 10 regular singers who sit in two rows at the front, facing side on. Occasionally they swivel slightly to their right if, for example, they're singing antiphonally with the assembly.

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Re: All things to all people?

Post by alan29 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:43 pm

We did the side on thing for years, but found that we felt separate from the assembly, and that the particular acoustics of our building made it more difficult for us and the people to hear each other. So we removed some chairs from the middle of the church and lead the singing from there. It is universally preferred. We are less on show and more a part of the gathering.

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