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


Terry Nelson said...

Was that at your Polka Mass? I love the sound of an accordian, with or without singing. Someone told me Cathy plays the accordian.

frank demase said...

why are you always right you are never right

Unknown said...


You obviously don't understanding blogging.

It IS the one place in the world where I AM always right!!! That's the purpose of my blog.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I think everyone has lost their mind.

Ok, so a photo was taken of me once with an accordian. Doesn't mean I can actually play it. I looked cool and that's the main thing.

Terry Nelson said...

Who is Frank? And why are you always right and I'm always wrong? Who is Cathy?

Unknown said...

I don't know who Frank is, Terry. But I appreciate the fact that he use a real name in a critical comment.

But YOU, on the other hand, ARE always wrong!

I have no clue as to who Cathy is but, like you being the Man of 1,000 images, she seems to be the Woman of 1,000 names.

Anonymous said...

I have been a Catholic Church musician for nearly 25 years and have a hold degrees in Liturgical music and theology from a Catholic University. I am not familiar with the "Church Musicians' Song Encyclopedia." Where can I find this document in the offical Vatican or American Bishop's statements on music in the liturgy?

I realize that the post was meant to be funny, I frankly just found it sarcastic and mean-spirited. Where's the caritas?


Unknown said...

MWK (thanks for leaving an identifier; it's difficult to know which of the many "anons" or "anonymouses" are posting.

Being a member of a Gregorian Chant schola I know that occasionally Father has to wait for us to finish. But I don't get to see him waiting because my nose is stuck in my copy of "The Parish Book of Chant", or more often, a copy upon which I have scribbled notes to tell me when to pause, etc.

Don't you find it perhaps the slightest bit amusing when Father is waiting for you to finish the third or fourth verse? I do.