Sunday, July 26, 2009

Church woes...

Okay, they are not exactly woes...but hubby and I were just discussing the Mass at our parish this morning on the way home from MILs house.

We had a visiting priest this morning, because our pastor is on vacation. Our pastor is somewhere around 5'6"...the visiting priest (a friend of his from seminary) was over 6 feet tall...wearing our 5'6" priests vestments. He had a great opening joke about our pastor stealing his vestments from the Infant of Prague statues...

Mass was wonderful...with two exceptions. Number 1: The music. Now, I have been working on just singing the music that is played rather than whining about it, so this should not be read with a whiny tone...but DH and I were saying it was like a top ten list of most hated songs from the Gather hymnal today. I jokingly said that I should flip through a Gather hymnal and pick out my ideal Mass music, but I don't have one at home, so I'll just have to go off this list of common titles and first lines.

Today we sang: Gather Us In, I Danced In The Morning, All Who Hunger (this one I actually really love, and we sing it a lot...I could do with far less of almost everything we sing though...), Pan de Vida, and Sing of the Lord's Goodness.

For my ideal Mass (remember, I am only going by first lines and memories here): Lift High the Cross, I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light, All Who Hunger (I said I like it), Eat This Bread, Faith of Our Fathers.

So, any suggestions or changes you would suggest to my ideal Mass music? It is late, and I could have missed something I really should have chosen.

Now, back to Mass today. Problem number 2: Our parish has a custom of letting people get up and give announcements before the final blessing. Of course, having a visiting priest means that he didn't know the custom, and he gave the final that point, if I were to have an announcement, it would need to be pretty friggin' important for me to make it. But NO...THREE different people got up to make announcements...none of them urgent, and ALL of them went on and on...

Really, it is indicative of the problems we are having as a parish...struggling with the authority of the priest...that people thought that their two cents about things was so important that they had to speak EVEN THOUGH Father had already given the final blessing. Only one small comment in the 10 minutes or more of announcements was even timely (that we were having coffee and rolls put on by a certain group following Mass) and several of them were sparked by people's reactions to Father's homily.

I don't know if I need to talk to our pastor and suggest that all announcements should to be submitted to the lector before Mass, and can be read in that space by the lector, rather than having individual people make announcements. Really, it was WAY out of control today, and was really hard to keep all the kids sane(I have mentioned that we have a ton of children in the parish before...well, imagine wailing and gnashing of teeth from close to 50 kids ages 5 and under while people ramble about their thoughts on life the universe and everything while making a point like "we are studying the Eucharist in our catechism group. We meet at 6:30 tonight. All are welcome to come.")

Okay, enough random thoughts for tonight, I should get to bed and get some sleep. I promise it will be back to useless stuff like fair results later this week!


The Red State Ranger said...

I have a rule: If there's not at least one song at mass that was written before 1970, the music director is wrong. 2000 years of beautiful tradition, and we're singing songs from the era of avocado-colored appliances?

There are a few exceptions, and some newer songs are really good. (Hence my meager hope for just one old song) But, yeah, many of them are just not that great.

A few months back, our pianist couldn't make it, and all of the music was a capella. As a result, all of the music was old. Could you imagine trying to sing some of the newer songs you listed without accompaniment?

Whew. Sorry. It just happens to be a pet peeve of mine.

Christine said...

I'm totally with you on announcements. I think either a lector or Father himself should do them. It drives me crazy to have a 15 min speaker every week (at least it seems that way sometimes) when the kids have already sat through the whole Mass.

As for songs there are certain songs I hate that are older too. 'There is a wideness to God's mercy' is one of them that we can't seem to be able to escape. And I'll admit, even though I don't really like them in Church I find myself singing some of those 70's hymns to myself since I heard them every week growing up.

Katie said...

I have problems with the new rock rock and roll evangelical songs in a Catholic church. If I want an electric guitar, I'll become a Baptist, thanks.
At our mass, our choir leader was gone and so the most senior choir member took it upon herself to solo. Notice I said most senior, not most talented.