7 musical works of mercy
  • veromaryveromary
    Posts: 144
    I have an idea for a silly article, but thought it better to throw it open to discussion.

    What would you choose as the musical works of mercy?

    Give Libers to the choir
    Turn up for choir practice
    Pick up the hymn books during Mass
    Save some refreshments for the choir after Mass
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Skladach
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,364
    Notice someone around you who doesn't know where to look for what hymn we're on and point out the number.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    If you're a strong singer, sing in the back third of the congregation.
  • Invite them to Walsingham.
  • Be quiet
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Watch conductor
    Maintain music folder
    Remember music folder
    Learn parts before rehearsal
    Nail entrances
    Arrive early
    Notice > 24hr of absences
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,468
    Only bring water to drink during Mass.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • Drink!? During mass?????
    Thanked by 2eft94530 Carol
  • Following the "admonish the sinner" and "instruct the ignorant":

    Publicly burn sacropop.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    Only bring water to drink during Mass.


    I drink coffee during mass. My throat gets dry singing along with the choir while playing and directing. Also, keeps me awake during boring sermons. ;-)
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,364
    Publicly burn sacropop

    Bonfire of inanities?
  • Don't miss your damned entrance and then blame it on the accompanist. *insert my angry face here* Learn how to count to four so things like this don't happen.

    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • ...gets dry...

    Coffee?
    Don't you know that coffee only dries your tongue and makes you thirstier?

    In my book, wherever a choir is, whether it's 'in choir' or in a gallery, one should never do anything that one wouldn't do seated right behind the front pew screen under the celebrant's nose. Mass is mass. Total immersion in IT is mandatory for all - especially the choir.
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 220
    If I were giving this to my choir, the top one would be:

    Bear your director's wrongs patiently!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,364
    Having sung in your choir, Jon, my response would be, "What wrongs?" Lucky group!
    Thanked by 1JonLaird
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,468
    I know, I KNOW.... I've asked for a homily on sacrifice and the one hour fast.

    And because my lovelies do bear my wrongs with love and patience I have a hard time gently talking to them about this.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,172
    The one hour fast? I was raised on the 3-hour fast!
    The priest should start with that, and then mention that the OF only asks for a 1-hour fast, and "aren't you guys lucky?"
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen canadash
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    In my book, wherever a choir is, whether it's 'in choir' or in a gallery, one should never do anything that one wouldn't do seated right behind the front pew screen under the celebrant's nose.


    I have reached the age where I am totally incorrigible and unredeemable. And you know what you can do with that book. LOL. They are lucky it's only coffee and not whiskey. I had a predecessor who was notorious for being sloshed, btw.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Here's one for altar servers, particularly at the processional: PLEASE SLOW DOWN. Let the choir get through more than two verses.
  • Charles,

    I presume, based on the contempt you frequently show for Latins, that you make no attempt to receive Holy Communion under the circumstances you describe.

    As to your predecessor, aren't you always telling us that keeping in mind the way things used to be done is trying to live in some frozen-in-amber, idealized past, which it is best for us to let go of?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    Chris, the super-literalist who takes everything ultra-seriously, I don't even drink alcohol. One of my predecessors did and achieved some notoriety in local circles. He was also the one who threw hymnals at singers who sang wrong notes. Nasty person!

    I don't have contempt for Latins. No one could exceed the apparent loathing they have for their own church and rites, or so it can seem.

    A few of us who are there all morning into the afternoon keep coffee and snacks for between masses. Passing out at the console from a sugar crash is generally considered tacky and tasteless. I have coffee and water at the console for above mentioned reasons, but generally have the coffee during sermon time when I am either by myself or with a cantor.

    I receive communion at the times I choose to receive, although not to Latin excess. Once per Sunday is plenty. You shouldn't presume or speculate on others receiving communion. It isn't any of your business.

  • I have reached the age where I am totally incorrigible and unredeemable.


    Charles, I've noticed a sort of endearing brusque-ness of the Byzantines I've met. (Had a Serbian priest jostle me into coming to a potluck one Sunday. :$) So I must ask - is the just a fluke, or are you all this outspoken?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Gavin
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    It can certainly seem that way, I guess. LOL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    Musical works of mercy

    First, a list of corporal works:

    (Feed the hungry) To arrange Holy Communion for the choir;
    (Give drink) To provide water during rehearsals;
    (Clothe the naked) To perform the propers;
    (Harbor the stranger) To welcome the TLM chant schola on Sunday afternoon;
    (Visit the sick) To maintain the organ;
    (Ransom the captive) To welcome refugees from outside the parish;
    (Bury the dead) To dispose of the junk music.

  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,468
    @ Chonak: Thanks! I'm using that on Ash Wednesday. Brilliant!
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,172
    (Feed the hungry) To arrange Holy Communion for the choir


    Hopefully in a way that lets them go to receive Holy Communion from the priest, and not by encouraging the use of extra EMHCs just to go up to the choir loft.

    There's nothing wrong with a little bit of sacred silence during Communion. Especially in Lent when it's more obvious because of the lack of meditational music by an organ.

    If nothing else, let them chant the Agnus Dei as they walk up the aisle (the former men's choir at my church used to do that and were easily kneeling in time for the "Ecce Agnus Dei" )so that they can be back within whatever amount of time the MD "needs" them (though hopefully he/she is up there too?) to be to begin their Communion chant/hymn/what-have-you.

    I mean, it's Lent. Let the poor choristers go up to receive Communion for at least these 6 of the 52 weeks out of the year!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    Musical works of mercy, part II:

    Spiritual works

    (Instruct the ignorant) Teach beginners music notation;
    (Counsel the doubtful) Speak with redundancy, so that distracted people can get the info when you repeat it;
    (Admonish sinners) Give the choir specific instructions about cutoffs and breaths;
    (Bear wrongs patiently) Be glad for crying babies, since they all come with young families;
    (Forgive offences willingly) When reviewing last week's performance, only speak favorably;
    (Comfort the afflicted) Reform the bad music from past years slowly;
    (Pray for the living and the dead) Mean it when you sing it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    If nothing else, let them chant the Agnus Dei as they walk up the aisle (the former men's choir at my church used to do that and were easily kneeling in time for the "Ecce Agnus Dei" )so that they can be back within whatever amount of time the MD "needs" them (though hopefully he/she is up there too?) to be to begin their Communion chant/hymn/what-have-you


    What is this "walk" you are talking about? I have choristers in their eighties. Just getting them into the loft the first time is difficult enough. Besides, the clatter of all the canes on the tile floor would disrupt communion. We are most grateful for those extraordinary ministers who help us greatly.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Here's another for choristers: relent from the pronunciations you were taught when the director in front of you directs a different approach. Assume the director is not wrong, but has made a decision based on optimizing the choir's pitch and sound quality.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW Gavin Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    Another for choristers: get your head out of the book and realize there is a director in front of you. You need to look at him, at least, occasionally.
    Thanked by 2Gavin Carol
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,172
    What is this "walk" you are talking about?


    I'm quite pregnant, and while getting up to and down from the choir loft can be the most trying part of my day - I still prefer it to having an EMHC come up - or encouraging the use, thereof.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    I gave up on that battle some years ago. Our stairs are narrow, steep, and dangerous for younger people. If someone brings communion to the older folks, I am OK with that and have nothing to prove.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Charles,

    Younger people can't navigate the stairs without risk. Older people can't navigate the stairs without risk. How are EMHC supposed to navigate the stairs? Come to think of it, why does anyone use the loft at all, if the stairs are so dangerous?
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    It's the only loft we have. The other option is move everything except the organ downstairs. The steps are steep and narrow, but someone making an effort to be careful can navigate them. It's not ideal. I personally view the stairs as good leg exercise and go up and down them multiple times on Sundays. That doesn't work for everyone.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    I have to say, if the stairs are unsafe, I would not recommend the use of a loft for a choir. If I were pastor, I'd likely forbid it to reduce potential liability. There should be good lighting, rails and carpet or other safety fabric on the treads at a bare minimum.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,172
    Yes, the last thing we need is for an EMHC to trip and spill the consecrated Host..
  • G
    Posts: 1,391
    Notice someone around you who doesn't know where to look for what hymn we're on and point out the number.
    Sorry to be contrarian, but it depends....
    Once when the congregation was asked to sing My Country 'Tis of Thee for the entrance, I put down the hymnal and picked up the Missal to at least read the introit antiphon to myself.
    EVERYONE around me, politte strangers all, kindly pointed out where I should have been looking, and what I should have been singing.
    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    There are rails, and the stairs are carpeted, but they are steep and winding. You have to watch what you are doing. The biggest danger on those stairs is inattention. Some of our less in-shape folks get really winded by the time they reach the loft. At times, I have walked down in front of people with more limited mobility. If they fall, they will fall into me. That doesn't hurt me in any way and I can stop them from getting hurt.

    EHMCs: Our new pastor has put deacons in charge of distributing communion. We never had deacons before he arrived. He preferred to get away from the extraordinary ministers and give the job to deacons.

    What I really find amusing is the reaction from people half my age when I run up the stairs. LOL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    I was recently told in one church that the insurance company forbids the parish to use the loft for the choir because it has only one door for entrance and exit.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    We have that problem, too, but the insurance company hasn't objected in the 90 years the loft has been in use. Of course, we could escape over the rail, but it's a 20-foot drop. Maybe I should look into a 2nd-story escape ladder - not joking.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Yes, you're supposed to have that under many fire codes. Useless for some, but not necessarily all.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    I think a playground slide would be the most efficient way out.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    I like the slide better. LOL.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,714
    Zip line?
    Thanked by 2Kathy PolskaPiano
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    In an emergency, the zip line might take too much time to set up. It would be memorable swooshing down the line to the "Ride of the Valkyries" on the mighty Schantz. LOL.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Carol
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,578
    i am installing a zip wire
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    I recommend fire pole with a wet bar.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    Wet tee-shirts, too? ;-)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,374
    Only on Easter Monday or Theophany.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,381
    A very deep baptismal font beneath the rail might answer.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,280
    Brings back memories of Esther Williams. Anyone for synchronized swimming?
    Thanked by 1Carol