7 quick takes: Deo gratias, Alleluia

— 1 —

So sorry about the lack of posts lately. As you might imagine, I’m crazy busy, especially with the Advent and Christmas seasons closing in. I’m going to write posts when I can, but I may not be able to get back to regular posting until after Christmas.

— 2 —

Yesterday’s bilingual Thanksgiving Mass was a rousing success. First off, we had the kids singing three hymns: “Demos Gracias al Señor,” “Table of Plenty,” and “This Is the Day,” the old gospel-style song, but non-gospelified. The 15 or so kids sang loud and well (not easy to do both, believe me). And I had gone through all the music for Mass with them the day before (even though they weren’t going to be leading then), so they made sure that pretty much every hymn filled the church with singing. Big success. I’m hoping Christmas will be the same way.

Oh, but wait, there’s more! I successfully got a new trilingual hymn added. That’s right, trilingual (English and Spanish for the verses, but Latin for the refrain). It’s called “Deo Gratias,” and it has a measly eight verses (taken from Psalm 145), all of which we used as the priest incensed the altar. The congregation loved it and joined in vociferously on the refrain. And the closing was “Alabare,” an old classic for the Spanish-speaking congregation.

I think it’s fitting that this Thanksgiving was on the feast of St. Cecilia.

Were those instruments invented yet when St. Cecilia was around?

She totally came through. And, you know, the kids were well-behaved and quiet during Mass, too. So you know who else came through? St. Jude. Because seriously, isn’t keeping kids quiet during Mass pretty much a lost cause?

— 3 —

The choir’s choral books are in! Here’s an example:

I am thrilled. A big chunk of our psalms are in there. Many of our hymns are in there. And there are hymns that are in this book that aren’t in the hymnal, which means I can use them as choir pieces.

I’ll be handing these out the first week of December.

— 4 —

The other parish I play at regularly has finally moved into its church building (yay) and has an organ (double yay). However, because of what I believe we call a “day job,” I was unavailable for the orientation session for the organ. I’m going to try to get into church tomorrow to learn about the organ, but I’m dependent on someone being able to let me in. If not, I’ll have to go in cold on Sunday and hope I can figure out the settings on the fly. Because I’m a weekend warrior organist and not a music-degree-trained type, that means I’m really going to have to hope I figure this out quickly.

— 5 —

I saw “Skyfall” with a close friend who, the day after, moved to Indianapolis. I already miss him. Luckily, “Skyfall” was an incredible movie. However, it moved the number of Bond movies I’ve seen beginning to end to … um, one. On the other hand, for an introduction to Bond movies, this was a good one. And on the other other hand, isn’t the Adele song for the movie (which plays over the opening credits) basically perfect to set the mood for the film?

(Spoiler alert: “Skyfall” is the villain’s childhood sled, and Bond spends most of the movie trying to figure out how it motivates the villain.)

— 6 —

I also visited a couple friends and their 1-year-old over the last weekend. Adorable kid. And he liked me immediately, even though I was eating a chunk of his leftover birthday cake (I hadn’t been able to go to his party, so I dropped by the next day). I love kids, and I’m pretty good with them (the kids’ choir likes me, and they actually sit and listen to me without me having to yell, which I appreciate). With any luck, one day I’ll have my own.

— 7 —

Will attempt to do all Christmas shopping online this year. Do not like crowds. Do not like wrangling for things. Shipping is faster than usual during holidays. I can handle that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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