Postlude disturbing prayer of thanksgiving
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 948
    Occasionally I have someone come up to me and complain that my postlude is disturbing their prayer of Thanksgiving after Mass. I tried to explain (not very well) that that was the only place where the organist can offer praise in a more unrestricted manner.
    What are your thoughts on this issue?
  • Ghmus7,

    I understand your quandary.

    Your answer -- that this is the one time when the organist is offering praise unrestrainedly -- was the most appropriate under the circumstances. You might refer next time to the famous story of Le Jongleur de Notre Dame. In all the other situations you play, you're supporting someone else's work of glorifying God, but here is yours, in isolation.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 757
    Like Louis Vierne?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    I have explained that the purpose of the postlude is to get them out the door and empty the church for the next crowd. Also, to cover the excessive noise they make while leaving. My postludes tend to be short, so they wouldn't have much of a wait for it to be over. I also suggested coming early and praying, since it is quieter then.

    One old gentleman once said that I played too loudly. l said, "what's wrong, did I disturb your nap?"

    I have also noted that I work for the pastor, not them, and the pastor wants those postludes.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • I see the postlude, or the closing voluntary, as a sort of musical peroration to the liturgy. Like the prelude, it is not strictly a 'part' of the mass, yet it is connected to the mass and has the purpose of providing a musical commentary on the day's emotive character, i.e., joyful, penitential, meditative, gladness, sadness, etc. This is ONE reason that having an idiot announcer interject his or her comments, welcomes, and stuff betwixt prelude and hymn is deplorable. The prelude should lead right into the hymn or introit and there should be no break between them.

    Too, I would differ a little bit with Greg in that the postlude is not the only time at which we can play in an unrestricted manner. I often feel very unrestricted in my accompanying of hymns, parts of the ordinary, and anthems, particularly Anglican anthems, which can be quite 'unrestricted'. Too, unrestricted playing can be soft as well as loud. Some of my most emotional and intense, unrestricted, playing is communion improvisations.
    Thanked by 2Carol CHGiffen
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 638
    I can see where the comments are coming from. *I'm not an organist,* but having grown up in the EF, I do stay after Mass to pray. When the organ is too loud, it makes it almost impossible for me to get through my Hail, Holy Queen. Similarly, if the organist's ad lib post-communion music is too loud, I have great trouble getting through my Anima Christi.
    Perhaps not everyone has this issue, but it does disrupt the thought process of prayerfully reciting longer prayers.
    It isn't that there is music at all, it's that the organ is louder than my own thoughts.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    The only time the organ is loud is the last verse of hymns - some hymns, not all of them - and postludes. My postludes are short for a few reasons. It doesn't take that long to clear the church, I am tired and want to go home, and I play mainly Baroque French pieces that were written for masses anyway. They tend to be short.

    Post-communion? My folks heard a lovely little Tournemire piece today on the soft flutes, then a Stanley adagio.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen SarahJ
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 855
    Regarding postludes:

    We go from the blessing and dismissal to the seasonal Marian hymn. After the Marian hymn, there are the Leonine prayers (St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle...etc.). After the Leonine prayers, I play an organ postlude as the sacred ministers process from the sanctuary to the narthex.

    I very rarely play for more than 2:30-3:00 (those are minutes, not hours!), and I intentionally steer clear of more "harmonically adventurous" repertoire because I know a decent fraction of (almost) any congregation doesn't like it.

    This morning, I played a piece by Lani Smith (under a nom de plume). Last week, I improvised on the theme of the recessional hymn. The week before that was a Pachelbel fugue. Nothing long, and nothing "out there," melodically or harmonically.

    Regarding Communion and Post-Communion:

    We start with the proper chant from Bartlett's Simple English Propers with a small men's schola. While we are chanting, a vested EMHC is bringing the Eucharist up to the choir loft for the singers.

    I receive the Blessed Sacrament first and immediately go to the organ, where I either play a piece in the key of our choir anthem/motet or improvise in the appropriate key or mode. After the choir sings, I improvise an interlude and transition into the key of the post-Communion hymn of thanksgiving, and we sing the hymn congregationally. That usually covers the purifying of the vessels, and I wrap things up.

    I agree that any post-Communion ad libbing from the organist should be on the gentler side of things, so as to aid in contemplation, rather than to draw attention to the organist's playing.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 948
    MJO, I agree with you about accompanying hymns etc...
    I don't understand why someone can't enjoy the postlude and them make the prayers of thanksgiving after...why is that hard?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    It's not. Some folks will bitch about anything and everything.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 638
    "make the prayers of thanksgiving after..."
    Especially when I'm in the choir, this makes more sense.

    But maybe they would also like to leave, though, and that's why they don't have time to wait for the end of the postlude.

    But when someone is playing loudly and "trying to clear the church," it can make it more difficult for people to finish those prayers and leave.

    Regardless, while I don't think I've ever complained to someone [official] about it, that doesn't mean that those who have are just looking for trouble.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    We actually have two side chapels where the sound drops off significantly. How hard is it to get up and move rather than complain? Many tell us they enjoy those postludes and the pastor says, "turn it up. I love it."
  • I don't at all like this 'clear the church' argument. What a trashy attitude. That would never ever have crossed my mind. Everything attached to the liturgy is spiritually a part of it - as I commented on up above here. Actually, unlike Charles (whom truly I have no wish to insult!), I am never in a hurry to leave after the liturgy - indeed, I'm sort of sad that it's over. As for those coming for the next mass? They can very well wait!
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,142
    In case there is some misunderstanding, nobody plays loudly "trying" to clear the church. Organists play postludes *while* people clear the church.
  • I find that a well chosen postlude complements rather than distracts from my prayer. That said there certainly is such a thing as 'too loud' (though as I get older, fewer and fewer things are...).
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,142
    Perhaps it's time to add some scary French organ music to the repertoire. :-)
  • Surely no one is suggesting that prayerful playing MUST be soft. I often find so-called loud music very prayerful. Perhaps we are dealing with an entirely too 'restricted' idea of 'prayer'.

    And, quiet improvisations and music are often as 'unrestricted' (and potent) as those that are mis-perceived to be 'too loud'.
  • Loud is fine. There is such a thing as 'so loud that the volume becomes the point'. I would call it unmusical at that point, regardless of one's judgment about suitability for prayer.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    In case there is some misunderstanding, nobody plays loudly "trying" to clear the church. Organists play postludes *while* people clear the church.


    While it may clear the church, it also discourages talking and congregational noise, even covering some of it up.

    I am never in a hurry to leave after the liturgy - indeed, I'm sort of sad that it's over.


    By the time to leave, I am really tired and ready to get out the door. By then, I have seen/heard multiple liturgies, dealt with disorganized people, and generally decided there are some I would like to never see again. No apologies. But will do it all again next week. I often make the point that I am working, not worshiping. That sermon that was barely tolerable the first time doesn't improve with repetition.
  • MarkS
    Posts: 203
    A couple of thoughts re: postlude:

    1) The postlude is not an option exercised by the organist, but rather should exist as a result of agreement by clergy and musicians that this is the appropriate way to end services. If it is agreed that the 'default' is to be a failry upbeat, fairly full-volume piece, worshipers have nothing to complain to the organists about.

    2) Every organist should make sure they have a very accurate idea of how the organ sounds with different registrations throughout the building. I have recorded services and practice sessions (different acoustic, of course, with an empty nave) from all areas of the church to make sure I know what all of the folks are hearing (ditto for accompanying hymns). How it sounds from the organ bench is rarely how it sounds to the PIPs. Last year I befriended, and am mentoring, a rather talented young organist (who this year is studying with at Juilliard with Paul Jacobs) who does constantly register things too heavily (and in historically inappropriate ways, but that's another matter) out of ignorance of the effect he is having on the congregation—to him it is a grand, exciting, inspiring sound!

    3) 'Clearing the church'— my mother (my non-Catholic parent) used to call the postlude the 'Go thou and do likewise!' music. (My father only wishes that postludes were part of his regular worship experience!) However, as (I like to think!) the result of 3-plus years of thoughtfully chosen postludes at my current church, the number of folks that don't move at all from their pews has gradually increased to the point that most of the congregation is still seated by the end.

    4)
    it also discourages talking and congregational noise

    Actually, it is my experience that for those who choose not to listen to the postlude, it seems that greater volume is actually a cue for louder talking! I remember my first Easter at my current church—I played the Widor Toccata, and when I reached the pedal octaves at the climax, I was distinctly aware of a women's voice, holding forth over all the reeds. From the organ loft I could clearly hear every word she said. If I really want to keep folks from making a lot of noise after the service, I play something that starts quietly!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    Actually, it is my experience that for those who choose not to listen to the postlude, it seems that greater volume is actually a cue for louder talking!


    We are not allowed to bean them with a well-thrown hymnal,
    although I would like to.


    Each place is different. Trying to generate these overall "rules" can never work.
    Thanked by 2MarkS bhcordova
  • MarkS
    Posts: 203
    Each place is different. Trying to generate these overall "rules" can never work.


    True! Just offering my experience.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Charles, is the overall rule you are referring to that we are not allowed to bean them with a well-thrown hymnal?? :)
    Thanked by 2Carol CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    I would like that rule, since some definitely deserved to be beaned. Being serious for a moment - bad habit. I try to not do it - see St. Paul for good intentions gone astray. I appreciate issues some run into with their own congregations. All the rest of us have different congregations where we:

    1. May not encounter the problem
    2. Are accustomed to functioning in different ways
    3. Are operating under a different set of instructions.

    Consequently, anything we could propose would not fit the original issue nor resolve the problem. From any practical standpoint, no rules exist.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,008
    So then you should look at the case of l'Orgue Mystique of Tournemire. The end pieces (piece terminale) are easily 5-10 minutes long, go from the sublime quiet of just an 8' flute to full organ, sometimes in the same piece. As these were composed for the EF in France in the 20's and 30's, they are a summary of the resume of the day, commenting and using the chants of the Mass for the day and also Office hymns. Tournemire expected his listeners to stay for the music, contemplate the use of the chants and the texts and also make a thanksgiving for the reception of the eucharist. Often they are quiet but sometimes very loud. And very long. And often very difficult.

    And from a practical standpoint, absolutely naive. Although I love them, it is just pure wishful thinking. I suppose the most fervent of believers might somewhat be persuaded, but the great unwashed faithful of his time and ours parade out quickly. In France they are called "sorties", which means "leaving". In fact one story of Tournemire is that he was playing one Sunday and improvising very quietly at the end of Mass. His assistant said," Master, it is the sortie(implying it should be loud)." Tournemire snapped back,"Well then, LEAVE". The man was not to be played as a fool. The mystic often overlooked the reality.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    Love Tournemire, but he doesn't go over well with some audiences. A good friend tells me that organ concerts draw crowds in Paris, but those same folks would not consider attending mass. Interesting.
  • that was the only place where the organist can offer praise in a more unrestricted manner.


    The organist is free to offer praise in an much of an unrestrained manner as they want during all the times when the church building is not in use for or immediately after services. Eg Tuesday at 8pm (or whatever).

    After services (be they Mass or whatever else), the organist is still serving the pastor and people by enabling THEM to pray. Your own praise and wokship happens at other times.
  • Thanked by 1ronkrisman
  • Pax,

    I can not disagree more strenuously! After Mass, an organist has a much louder instrument than most with which to praise God, but if his "praise and wokship [sic] happens at other times", then it follows that while he is at Mass, he is not to praise God. The consequences of this statement are alarming, to say the least.
  • And, there are those who get bent out of shape if actual praise during mass disturbs the private and internal prayer which they prefer to participating in the ritual with everyone else. They are, whenever they stage their protests, out of tune. If they were truly of a prayerful bent they would appreciate the music that they hear and kindly wait until it is over - at which point they would give thanks for having heard something so majestic in honour of their God.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,273
    Thanks to the OP for raising this issue. And thanks to everyone else for their viewpoints.

    Would that I had a competent organist at every Mass at which I preside in the Diocese of Orlando. I would insist on a postlude at every Mass on all Sundays and holydays of obligation!

    It is preposterous to forbid postludes from a competent organist so that some individual is not disturbed in his or her private prayers after Mass.
  • I'm afraid that whether organist or vocalist or instrumentalist, it is very easy for us indvidually as performers to be caught up in the accidental rather than the essential.

    I'm not an organist - so I suspect that rules out my opinion for those who are. :) However, I frequently notice the phenomena where the organist passes from being an accompaniment for singing or background to support reflection to focusing on what the instrument can do or the skill one can exhibit. Although this observation mainly applies to when accompanying the singing, it can also be when the organ is the solo instrument.

    Vocalists certainly have the same issue. An undue focus on solos, particularly ones that showcase talent. Over-singing. Choosing repertoire that is striking, rather than elevating.

    This isn't an endorsment one way or the other. I think there is a time and place for glorying in the majesty of the instrument, just as (for the vocalists) there is a time and place for choosing something that is vocally compelling.

    I don't think we have to cater to the least common denominator in either direction, whether pro or con. As is frequently the case where judgment is involved, I don't know that there is a single answer that is correct. We each have the responsibility to form our knowledge of proper musical standards; each of us must make the best decision we can given our own set of circumstances. What might be suitable in a cathedral or large church is not likely as suitable in a smaller church, and vice versa.

    Father, I don't think the choice is necessarily all or nothing - of rousing prelude or silence. I think there is a happy medium whereby we, as musicians, recognize that what we do is not for ourselves, nor simply for "the people", nor even simply for the pastor... but for a blend of worship and what suits best for drawing souls to Christ.

    For the record, in the Masses I direct, there is a postlude. Occasionally it is glorious but without being (I think) unduly loud.
  • .
  • I am very thankful for the postlude my son plays after Mass because it helps me in my prayer both in the appropriateness of the music he plays and that it covers the raucous noise of people talking enough to allow me focus on Christ. Normally, by the time he is done, the loudmouths are, thankfully, out the door and I can continue praying in quiet. It is the noise the people make that distracts me from prayer, not the organ.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    Someone mentioned preludes, which I haven't played in years. With 80+-year-olds struggling up the stairs, misplacing their music, not paying attention, socializing, and some never showing up on time, my time before mass is taken with trying to pull them all together so we can start the mass. It's totally crazy, but these are the people I have and I make lemonade with sometimes not all the ingredients I would like. The postludes are about all the noticeable music I play, except during Lent and Advent when I cancel them. The softer pieces at other times kind of fade into the background and I truly don't know if anyone is even listening. It isn't a perfect world, folks, and if the pastor doesn't want to spend any money on music, it is and will remain what it is.
    Thanked by 1ghmus7
  • Carol
    Posts: 202
    I thought our choir was old with a median age of 60 or more! I couldn't use an average, because we have a wonderfully musical middle school boy who would throw the statistic way off!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    My oldest member just turned 90 - gets up the stairs better than some much younger. I have 5 who are mid-eighties. Two late eighties, three of us 70 or close to it, and a few in their fifties. Our newest member is late twenties to early thirties. Our median age is somewhere in the upper sixties.
  • Carol
    Posts: 202
    One way to look at this is the hope that those of us who are in our 60's can hope to continue to be able to sing for many years to come. My mother is almost 91 and she stopped singing a few years ago. Breath control became a problem and also my brother made the mistake of recording her and when she heard how she sounded, she was horrified at the sound of her voice and "gave up" singing, except at Mass in the pew.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 948
    Thank you all, I am always impressed by the communal collection of wisdom on this forum. Also it's funny.
    Thanked by 2Carol CharlesW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,761
    They are quite a bunch, eh ghmus? I see two sides here, and it is hard to pick one!
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,861
    Instrumentalists sometimes don't realize their own strength. Making a thanksgiving is an excellent custom, and if someone can't pray during your postlude, it's possible that your sound is too loud, or too dissonant, for that time.

    It's possible that you have a whiner there, but I wouldn't necessarily assume that's the case.
  • ...wouldn't necessarily assume...

    The person's demeanor is a pretty good guage.
    Does this really seem like a prayerful person?
    Anger and disrespect, or contempt for valid music making in God's house would seem to belie genuine prayerfulness.
    A truly prayerful person would not be disturbed and would simply await the silence following the mass' musical peroration to make his or her private prayers.
    Such a person would understand that the organ's music is also an act of prayer and adoration - of thanksgiving - and would appreciate it as such.

    I rather think that, most of the time, 'loud' means 'I can hear it and I don't want to hear it'.
    And 'it' very often isn't 'loud' at all.

    Then, too - at times like this how often do we fail to take account of ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T COMPLAIN.

    I've been told numerous times by both priest and lay, after a postlude or during practice hours, that the organ AIDED their prayers - even when it was loud.

    It's best to show respect, not get upset, and go on about one's day.
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 606
    Ah, poor abused organists! They function in a nebulous ecclesiastical state, torn between the stringent demands of their art and the ambivalence of their employer (pastor, people, and church judicial). I have observed several over the years; none has been thoroughly happy with his state, most have felt frequently underappreciated, and several at times actively under siege. All artists have occasion to denounce the philistines among the patrons on which they rely, but organists seem to have made a tangential art of this state of mind. I have encountered whiners (so called above) in the congregation, for sure. None, for sure, comes close to the perpetual whininess of professional church organists.

    Of course, the repertoire itself does not lend itself to modesty. I can only imagine the orgiastic rush of riding an all-stops-out instrument to musical glory. Most church organists demur from such display, but many can barely hide their artistic lust. What are all those bellows, pipes, and pistons for, if not the heights of ecstasy?

    The Catholic Church is a damned poor patron to hitch our artistic fortunes to. Composers, performers, and enlightened patrons alike have creamed their heads against its granite ceiling of artistic suppression/oppression (these days, depression). Even its most idealized guidelines have been more theoretical than practical. Legislation (most telling in its historical absence) is ambiguous. There is Pius X, whose motu proprio manages no more than grudging acceptance of the instrument in tasteful support of the voices. Pius XII comes nearer effusiveness, but even he recognizes the ecclesial truth of the matter:

    Musicae Sacrae Disciplina (1955)
    "57. These laws warn that great prudence and care should be used in this serious matter in order to keep out of churches polyphonic music which, because of its heavy and bombastic style, might obscure the sacred words of the liturgy by a kind of exaggeration, interfere with the conduct of the liturgical service or, finally, lower the skill and competence of the singers to the disadvantage of sacred worship.
    58. These norms must be applied to the use of the organ or other musical instruments..."

    What it boils down to, this dilemma, is a grudging acknowledgement of, but ultimate frustration on the part of the organist/soloist with the primacy of the word and rite; the grasping at any and all opportunities to break the shackles (hence, the non-liturgical, non-functional, often non-congruous postlude); and the hackles raised by any critique thereof. We all want to do our artistic thing. We sign on to a church program that might seem to encourage us in that thing (in a world where encouragement is rarer than rare). We relish our captive congregational audience and (hopefully) an instrument yearning to breath free. We are naturally deflated by the reality, the ecclesial restraints (seemingly arbitrary in time and place) under which we are expected to function. We come to this house of prayer, often with genuine sincerity, to offer our very best before the altar, and feel genuine pain when that best gets scolded.

    We artists are basically hermits, forced to be mendicants, in what is essentially a Benedictine community governed by rules and run by a superior, in which each member is subservient to the whole for the spiritual good of each and all and the wider world. The struggles we face are essentially with our monastic vocation, against artistic instinct, often contrary to reason. The question is, can true artists function artistically within the Church? Can true art be monastic?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,304
    Reminds me of this passage from the end of Chapter VI of Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (1901), set in Lübeck, as translated by Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter:

    On his eighth birthday, April 15th, 1869, Hanno played before the assembled family a fantasy of his own composition. It was a simple affair, a motif entirely of his own invention, which he had slightly developed. When he showed it to Herr Pfühl, the organist, of course, had some criticism to make.

    “What sort of theatrical ending is that, Johann? It doesn’t go with the rest of it. In the beginning it is all pretty good; but why do you suddenly fall from B major into the six-four chord on the fourth note with a minor third? These are tricks; and you tremolo here, too — where did you pick that up? I know, of course: you have been listening when I played certain things for your mother. Change the end, child: then it will be quite a clean little piece of work.”

    But it appeared that Hanno laid the greatest stress precisely on this minor chord and this finale; and his mother was so very pleased with it that it remained as it was. She took her violin and played the upper part, and varied it with runs in demi-semi-quavers. That sounded gorgeous: Hanno kissed her out of sheer happiness, and they played it together to the family on the 15th of April.

    The Frau Consul, Frau Permaneder. Christian, Clothilde, Herr and Frau Consul Kroger, Herr and Frau Director Weinschenk, the Broad Street Buddenbrooks, and Therese Weichbrodt were all bidden to dinner at four o’clock, with the Senator and his wife, in honor of Hanno’s birthday; and now they sat in the salon and looked at the child, perched on the music-stool in his sailor suit, and at the elegant, foreign appearance his mother made as she played a wonderful cantilena on the G string, and then, with profound virtuosity, developed a stream of purling, foaming cadences. The silver on the end of her bow gleamed in the gas-light.

    Hanno was pale with excitement, and had hardly eaten any dinner. But now he forgot all else in his absorbed devotion to his task, which would, alas, be all over in ten minutes! The little melody he had invented was more harmonic than rhythmic in its structure; there was an extraordinary contrast between the simple primitive material which the child had at his command, and the impressive, impassioned, almost over- refined method with which that material was employed. He brought out each leading note with a forward inclination of the little head; he sat far forward on the music-stool, and strove by the use of both pedals to give each new harmony an emotional value. In truth, when Hanno concentrated upon an effect, the result was likely to be emotional rather than merely sentimental. He gave every simple harmonic device a special and mysterious significance b> means of retardation and accentuation; his surprising skill in effects was displayed in each chord, each new harmony, by a suddenly introduced pianissimo. And he sat with lifted eye- brows, swaying back and forth with the whole upper part of his body. Then came the finale, Hanno’s beloved finale, which crowned the elevated simplicity of the whole piece. Soft and clear as a bell sounded the E minor chord, tremolo pianissimo, amid the purling, flowing notes of the violin. It swelled, it broadened, it slowly, slowly rose: suddenly, in the forte, he introduced the discord C sharp, which led back to the original key, and the Stradivarius ornamented it with its welling and singing. He dwelt on the dissonance until it became fortissimo. But he denied himself and his audience the resolution; he kept it back. What would it be, this resolution, this enchanting, satisfying absorption into the B major chord? A joy beyond compare, a gratification of overpowering sweetness! Peace! Bliss! The kingdom of Heaven: only not yet — not yet! A moment more of striving, hesitation, suspense, that must become well-nigh intolerable in order to heighten the ultimate moment of joy. — Once more — a last, a final tasting of this striving and yearning, this craving of the entire being, this last forcing of the will to deny oneself the fulfilment and the conclusion, in the knowledge that joy, when it comes, lasts only for the moment. The whole upper part of Hanno’s little body straightened, his eyes grew larger, his closed lips trembled, he breathed short, spasmodic breaths through his nose. At last, at last, joy would no longer be denied. It came, it poured over him; he resisted no more. His muscles relaxed, his head sank weakly on his shoulder, his eyes closed, and a pathetic, almost ail anguished smile of speechless rapture hovered about his mouth; while his tremolo, among the rippling and rustling runs from the violin, to which he now added runs in the bass, glided over into B major, swelled up suddenly into forte, and after one brief, resounding burst, broke off.

    It was impossible that all the effect which this had upon Hanno should pass over into his audience. Frau Pennaneder, for instance, had not the slightest idea what it was all about. But she had seen the child's smile, the rhythm of his body, the beloved little head swaying enraptured from side to side — and the sight had penetrated to the depths of her easily moved nature.

    “How the child can play! Oh, how he can play!” she cried, hurrying to him half-weeping and folding him in her arms. “Gerda, Tom, he will be a Meyerbeer, a Mozart, a — ” As no third name of equal significance occurred to her, she confined herself to showering kisses on her nephew, w r ho sat there, still quite exhausted, with an absent look in his eyes.

    “That’s enough, Tony,” the Senator said softly. “Please don’t put such ideas into the child’s head.”

  • ghmus7
    Posts: 948
    Mr. Rice, I have read your entry here several times, and it is great food for thought.
    I often as an artist working for the church, feel insulted, marginalised, opposed, praised, needed and loved, all in the same week.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    You may laugh if you like, or consider me a bad example of Christianity. But working in church music has taught me that at times, you have to be louder, meaner, and nastier than some others. If it is apparent you can beat them up at will, so much the better. Save the good behavior for the folks who deserve it.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 489
    Concerning the postlude, it is useful to look at the structure of the classical Mass sung in Gregorian chant. For each processional occasion there is a chant in appropriate style to accompany it, introit, offertory, and communion in particular. But it provides no "recessional." From this I wonder whether the shape of such a Mass derives from the fact that the completion of the Mass is the reception of communion (followed by brief closing prayers), after which each member of the congregation follows a somewhat different route: some exit immediately, taking Christ with them into the world; some remain in intimate thanksgiving for some time, and a number of variants of these. The rite provides no concluding procession, because no particular procession is there. I would suggest that what is played at the end of the Mass fulfills liturgical needs; my approach is to play something rhythmical but brief to accompany the procession or exit of the clergy, and then move to music that encourages recollection and meditation. This is quite a different matter from the "drive them out of the church" notion.