One more time, it’s not about you

A half-hour before a Mass to say farewell to a retiring pastor at one of my parishes, the 70-something guitarist announced, “Hey, I’ve written a meditation tribute to Father.”

It was set to “Abba, Father.”

Ugh. “Abba, Father” is not one of my favorites. It sounds too carnival-ish for me. The recorded version is awful. I think the choir director, a music professor, wasn’t thrilled either. (He was blissfully unaware of the original song until it was brought up.) I didn’t look at the lyrics or listen carefully, because I was too busy tracking down a copy of “Abba, Father” so I could play along.

But then they did it, and it got a standing O. (Yes, I know, applause during Mass is bad, etc., but it was spontaneous and a special occasion, so chillax.)

I never would have allowed this at a parish where I was in charge of the music. But on the other hand, it was heartfelt and meaningful, and the parish responded accordingly.

Sometimes, that means a lot more.

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