Sunday, November 04, 2007

Poor Joe M. He's on vacation even as I type, and I had to leave a cranky message on his voice mail about this morning's Mass.

I hated to do it, but I really didn't have a choice. It's not my place to reprimand the organist (who works at that parish regularly) nor the other fill-in cantor (who was slated to sing the Mass after mine, but arrived early) for their behavior during the Communion hymn and Recessional hymn of the Mass I was singing.

The long and short of it: I did the Communion hymn at the speed that I know it. The organist, apparently, knows it at a faster rate. That's fine. But in that case, the organist is supposed to follow the cantor, not the other way around.

Instead, the organist had the other singer (the one for the next Mass), who was in the choir loft with her, turn on a microphone and start singing at the speed SHE wanted to go.

Understand, this is an organist who has been known to play the wrong song during Mass, whom Joe M. gripes about for never giving the same intro twice, who can be key-signature challenged at times, and who has a history of losing her place in the liturgy because she's sitting in the choir loft writing out her bills between songs.

I can't say much for the other cantor, whom I've never met before today nor heard sing. But I have issues with BOTH of their idea of good manners if they thought that what they did was something constructive... for that matter, if they don't even realize how stupendously rude it was of them to do that. If it had been a rehearsal and not a Mass, I'd have stepped away from the microphone and left them to their own devices. But last time I checked, it's inappropriate to have a hissy fit right in the midst of a Liturgy, so I continued as though nothing untoward was going on.

I didn't have a hissy fit at either of them after Mass, either. It's not my place. I'm not their boss and I didn't hire them. But Joe M. *is* their boss. I already said my piece on his voice mail. If he does anything, or nothing, it's all one to me. I did the job I was there to do. I did, however, have to retrieve my belongings from the choir loft after Mass, at which point I said, "That was unexpected", which was when the organist said that she wanted the song to go faster.

And if he brings me on board as a fill-in some other time, fine. If not, I'll be disappointed but our friendship won't be affected by it one way or the other. But if he does have me fill in, and it's during the summer when this regular organist is on vacation, even better. ;o) I prefer working with P.M. (one of the substitute organists) anyway -- I've known him for years, was in a music ministry with him for years as well, and he's one of the most talented musicians I've ever encountered. We wouldn't have had this issue if he'd been up there... too bad he can't be cloned and a copy given to EVERY parish in need of an organist. Oh, well.

OK, Rant Over. I'm now going to spoil the cats and forget about stress-inducing stuff. A good session of Purr Therapy will work wonders.

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