Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pentecost Ad Random

"So, how did it go, today, Mr Alexander? Any funny business?"

Well, since you've asked...

No, and I haven't heard yet of anything anywhere else either.

But that doesn't bother me so much. Turns out the bishop has Confirmation later in the day, so he didn't celebrate the 11am Mass. I did the readings as scheduled, though, and "Sal" said I sounded just perfect.

The cathedral choir was lovely. They did a Kyrie and Gloria from a Renaissance setting -- Palestrina, from the sound of it. But then they had to throw a bone to the other side of the tracks by doing a choral version of Jesuit John Foley's "One Bread, One Body." I used to do that song back in my "folk mass" days, but I gotta tell ya, I did it with a little more... well, a little more pep than I was used to hearing from anyone else. Probably one reason why I stopped. Seems people had this idea that to make a song appear more reverent than the 60s "hootenanny" style, required that it be done more slowly. The result in many cases wasn't sacred, just a lot of sap.

That's a whole 'nother story, as they say. Most parishes where I go that use a guitar for the music, the player is little more than a three-chord prop for the pianist. Seems like a perfect waste of a Sunday morning to me. Then again, I've been playing for forty years now, and know quite a bit more than three chords. I worked out a beautiful arrangement of "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" that I'll have to record for access to this site one of these old days.

Next time I get involved in a choir, I'll stick to Gregorian chant. Fewer surprises, fewer disappointments.

But hey, that's just me.


Brian Michael Page said...

Being Pentecost, was it the REAL "Come, Holy Ghost" or the bastardized "One Spirit One Church"?


David L Alexander said...


It was in English, combining chant and polyphony. Very nice. Can't say I've ever heard the "basterization" in question. Just lucky, I guess.