I have been following the Choir Notes from Erin Manning's blog, and putting off my own post about church music. I'd like to write a post like this one, comparing hymns for the quality of music and appropriateness of the lyrics, but, alas, there are so many other issues in the way that any music is welcome. Almost. Our parish has several big problems:
1. Our organist (God bless him) is just an amateur, and needs some real guidance in choosing music. Unfortunately, our parish priests are usually from Poland, and do not really "get" the essence of the music. We try, but when we are not around, he reverts to whatever he is capable of playing (not much).
2. Our organist does not play very well. Not much we can do about it. Our parish is small, poor, and he needs the money.
3. No one in our parish sings, even in the congregation. There are, of course, a few exceptions. When Libby was in high school, she taught the children's choir, but with college and commuting and all, she simply no longer has time. The choir has dissolved without her.
4. (This is a big one) The gentleman who does the readings at one of the Masses sings into the microphone and he CANNOT carry a tune. He apparently does not know this. It is so bad that a visiting priest began to laugh during the offertory one Sunday. Everyone always stares in stunned silence, and those who do sing seem to let their mouths hang open, and the notes fade and drift away into the air. The altar servers (who are often my sons) turn and stare, or, after I suggested this was bad form, shift from foot to foot uncomfortably.
1, 2, and 3 cannot be fixed at the moment. But we are desperate to solve problem #4, without hurting the gentleman's feelings, of course. Ideas welcome.