Sunday, June 21, 2009

Church Musicianship

I"m sure that most of you are quite familiar with the First Commandment in the Church Musicians' Song Encyclopedia: Thou shalt play and sing all the verses of the selection printed in the hymnal or song sheet, even if Father is standing at the altar looking at his watch, wondering if he will be able to make it to the first tee on time.

I generally am quite grateful that the Stabat Mater ("At the Cross Her Station Keeping") with its two dozen verses is almost never sung at Mass.

But I did experience this morning a commandment with which I had not ever become familiar. Our accompanist, noting that somebody had goofed up and selected a hymn with only three verses, played the tune of the hymn a fourth time completely through anyway. I suppose the Church Musicians Guild has a rule that you don't get paid unless you play at least four verses.

It's always something.

This morning
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