Sorry, folks. I’ve been radio-silent lately because I’m in the midst of some potentially life-changing stuff. I will post when I can, but I have to work this stuff out.
Please pray for me as I figure everything out. Hopefully I’ll have an update soon.
I recently filled in at a United Methodist church. Went pretty well. The opening hymn, oddly enough, was “Gather Us In.” Go figure. But at the end of the service and afterward, I was struck by a couple things.
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First, the pastor, before he gave the ending blessing, told everyone that I was more than welcome to come again. Cool. But then after the service, several people came up to me and thanked me for playing. Then after I exited the sanctuary, several more did. (Coincidentally, they need a new music director and organist and asked me about my interest; though it was a great visit to that church, I gently informed them I wasn’t interested, because if I’m going to do church music at a new place, I would prefer it to be full-time and Catholic.)
This doesn’t happen particularly often at Catholic services, but it did happen when I filled in for several weeks at an Episcopal parish; I suppose part of it with the Catholics is that I’m a known quantity at most of my parishes, though I filled in at a Catholic parish immediately after the Methodist service and had one person chat with me afterward.
I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or indifferent. But I noticed. I wonder if it says something about how seriously Catholics need to take their music.
It’s worth further thought on my part.
I understand, of course, why the Church is kind of paranoid about bad news in regards to sex abuse. We all get that. But I am beginning to wonder whether some of their safeguards are designed more for CYA than actually being effective at preventing abuse.
Let me give you a personal example.
I’m a brand new godfather! My friends had their second kid a few months back, and they asked me to be the godfather. It’s an honor, of course, and after I carried out my duty, all went back to his parents’ place for a party.
This being a big group of Catholics, Catholic stuff inevitably came up. The topic turned to music, and I talked about how many places are in a back-to-basics approach, incorporating Latin and more of the Church’s traditions. I discussed how many places are using more Latin.
A sister of my godson’s dad piped up. “Yeah, we have some of that. I really like it.”
I’d rather hear that than “This contemporary Catholic music at Mass is really cool” any day.