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It’s new hymnal season!

At my main parish, our hymnals are designed to be used in three-year cycles. The new cycle starts soon, so as soon as it was in, I picked up the new version and started perusing.

My main parish uses United in Christ, the bilingual three-year hymnal. So there is plenty in Spanish and English and at least a few changes. I quickly perused every page to see what I liked; fortunately, there is plenty. For example:

• New “old” hymns include “Adoro Te Devote” and “O God, Beyond All Praising,” which is one of my favorites.

• Other additions include an incredibly strong Advent litany and Tom Booth and Jenny Pixler’s “Sacred Silence.”

• There are now solid bilingual translations of “Christ, Be Our Light” and “Praise to You, O Christ Our Savior.”

But I do see some shortcomings:

• So many English translations of Spanish songs simply stink. I wish OCP would fix them; “Pescador de Hombres” is one of the notoriously awful versions. I know translating to fit a meter isn’t easy, but turning “Alabare” (literally “I will praise”) into “O Come and Sing” was just weird.

• The basic Latin Mass setting chants are there, but not the English versions.

Still, my parish has used this hymnal for a while, and it serves our needs fairly well. I’m cheered by the efforts OCP has put in to keep improving this, and I’m looking forward to another solid three years with the books.


I’m on vacation this week

It’s a working vacation (the CMAA conference in Indianapolis), but I’m nonetheless going to be superbusy all week. Posting will resume next week unless something supermajor comes up.

Or if I have time, this week. You know, whatever.

My five most popular posts of 2013

Thanks to Web search traffic, some posts get a lot of popularity over time. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s just one big surge. In some cases, views are obscured because someone went to the homepage or a category or tag search, thus not seeing the post by itself. Nonetheless, with the numbers I have, here are the posts that people checked out most this year. Continue reading

It’s gauntlet season

The life of a music minister can occasionally get craaaaaaaaaaazy. This week ends up as a case in point. To wit:

Today: Practice at church #1 (for Christmas).

Wednesday: Practice at church #2 (for regular Masses).

Thursday: Practice at church #3 (for regular Masses).

Friday: One All Saints’ Day Mass, plus a rehearsal session with a cantor for a wedding on Saturday.

Saturday: Morning All Souls’ Day Mass, followed by the aforementioned wedding, followed by my regular Saturday English Mass, followed by a concert at another parish at which I’m doing this:

Sunday: Two Masses, then a very long nap. Actually, I have leaves that need raking. And I need to go grocery shopping. And…

This is just like a prep week, though, for busy season. December is always a crazy month. So if I get through this week relatively unscathed, it should set me up relatively well for the Christmas season.

A return to the big screen

Every once in a while, you just get that itch.

When I had it in college, I started a Livejournal. Oh, the angst. And, most likely, some terrible writing. I’ve kind of forgotten all that, and I think I deleted the Livejournal.

When I had it after a layoff a few years ago, it was Blogger. Actually, it was pretty good therapy and took up some time while I tried to convince employers that I was a good fit for their whatever they did.

This time, there’s no life crisis, nor any angst. (Thank goodness). I’m employed with a day job and a weekend job (weekend job pictured below), I have good friends, and I end most days with a smile on my face.

But yet.

I still want an outlet for my thoughts, which, with any luck, have matured since I was 19. When my next door neighbors’ son died, a victim of suicide and drugs, it hit me hard, even though he and I hadn’t chatted in a long while. And sometimes, things happen that just require extra thoughts — perhaps, as well, the perspective of others.

Forgive me for starting in medias res. But exposition isn’t really my strong suit. Narration is. With any luck, every post will, indeed, tell a story.

My main musical instrument on the weekends.

This is my main musical instrument on the weekends.