The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

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keitha
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The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by keitha »

The latest version of the Government's Guidelines came into force this morning:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... rom-4-july

They now allow groups (professional and amateur) to sing but (i) there is to be no congregational singing and (ii) the Guidelines for Performances apply, which means that the singers have to be socially distanced from each other and the 'audience', the singers mustn't face each other, and screens are recommended. The use of cantors only where 'essential' has now gone and any instrument can be used except for wind instruments.

The fun continues...
Keith Ainsworth

quaeritor
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by quaeritor »

Keitha: is it "the use of cantors" that has "gone" or the restriction "only where essential" ?

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keitha
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by keitha »

All the stuff about cantors has gone, but I am working on the basis that as there is no 'only where essential' requirement for singing groups, then there are no restrictions on cantors. The drafting of the Guidelines is poor and the cross-referring to the Guidelines for Performances is not hugely helpful, but there are only 'guidelines' and don't need to have the precise language of laws.
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Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

My choir won't be restarting anytime soon as l as DOM am furloughed until October.

I can't help feeling that some people will view the return of choirs singing alone as 'elitist' and that getting the assembly singing again eventually may be difficult!

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keitha
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by keitha »

I guess the problem is that the Guidelines are a 'one size fits all' concept and are not the perfect fit for every faith.

My view was that we should aim for a staged recovery, and that is what my PP and I agreed. Stage 1 was a said Mass with the bare minimum. After 3 weeks we moved to Stage 2, which was the addition of the organ for a quiet voluntary before Mass, quiet music during the Offertory and Communion and a short'ish voluntary at the end. I worked out timings from our live streams so that the addition of music would not extend the mass (to maintain minimal viral load). Today (we had always targeted the Feast of the Assumption) we started Stage 3 - the addition of a cantor, applying the same timing principles. She chanted the Introit, Offertory Chant, Psalm (using the response/verses/response formula) and Communion Chant from behind a perspex screen at the back of the sanctuary.

Except for a special occasion (I have in mind Confirmations, which are scheduled for late September with a congregation that won't sing much anyway), I would not introduce the choir until after (i) viral load becomes less of a concern and (ii) the congregation is allowed to sing. In the meantime we will concentrate on trying to make Mass as prayerful as possible.
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by alan29 »

Hare wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:41 am
My choir won't be restarting anytime soon as l as DOM am furloughed until October.

I can't help feeling that some people will view the return of choirs singing alone as 'elitist' and that getting the assembly singing again eventually may be difficult!
Simple. Make the entire congregation conscripted members of the choir. They're already socially distanced.

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Nick Baty
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Nick Baty »

keitha wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:26 am
I totally agree with this. The guidelines are contrary to our usual practice where the principal singers are celebrant, congregation and cantor.

Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

Quite honestly, I have no interest in a "recovery" from something that has been imposed by an incompetent government - I'm finished with the whole blinking business.

Southern Comfort
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Southern Comfort »

The only real prospect of a return to normality is a set of vaccines.

It appears that this is less than 12 months away. The vaccine trials are not only making rapid progress, but they are making use of the knowledge of veterinary virologists, who have been dealing with coronaviruses in animals for years, many of them much more vicious than COVID-19. (We just have to hope that none of the really nasty ones jump the gap between animals and humans!)

The knowledge gained from animal virus epidemiology is already being incorporated into the various vaccine trials, where typically a dead portion of the virus's "DNA" is included in the vaccine. It appears likely that we will be offered a small raft of vaccines, to cover the various mutations of COVID-19, given as a single dose.

I'm quite optimistic that, given time, we will be out on the other side of this by mid-2021 if not earlier.
Hare wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:04 pm
Quite honestly, I have no interest in a "recovery" from something that has been imposed by an incompetent government - I'm finished with the whole blinking business.
I can't agree that the government imposed the virus and its attendant precautions on us. Like all governments, they take scientific advice, and the scientists have learned a tremendous amount about this particular infection in a short space of time, as indicated above. But initially, everyone was floundering, even governments. Some still are, especially those that prefer to discount what the scientists tell them.

Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

Of course I'm not saying the government imposed the virus on us - I'm just sick of the fact a lifetime's work in church music has been brought effectively to an end by this no singing business.

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Nick Baty
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Nick Baty »

Hare wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:29 pm
a lifetime's work in church music has been brought effectively to an end by this no singing business.
You seem to be suggesting that there will never again be any singing in churches.

Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

Nick, I am speaking of my own personal situation. My time in church music has come to a premature end. I am sure singing will return at some stage.

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Nick Baty
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Nick Baty »

Surely a hiatus, rather than an end? Can't afford to fire church musicians round here – nobody to take their place!

Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

Nick, I've PM'd you

Hare
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Re: The Government's Guidelines for Public Worship II - the return of choir groups

Post by Hare »

Hmmm - I thought I'd PM'd Nick but no sign of the message! It wasn't really important! Just to say that I'm probably going to be made redundant by the diocese when the furlough scheme ends - hence my despondency at the way things have turned out.

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