Our regular choir director/organ virtuoso was out of town this weekend on musical business, so one of our tenors subbed at the organ. Who knew? This twenty-something, quiet lad with a wonderful voice is a harpsichord student at the local U (but a wannabee organ student, apparently). The mass parts were “peppy”, I believe due to some nerves, but he performed admirably, with prelude, communion, and postlude solos that were just fab. One of the other tenors was cantor, and the organist let the cantor sing the Gospel Response and the Alleluia unsupported, which was beautiful. His big voice filled the church and made these moments very memorable.As for the choir, we did two unaccompanied pieces. During the offering we sang Remember Your Servants from the Russian Orthodox Liturgy and arranged by Richard Proulx. The text is the Beatitudes which made up the gospel reading this Sunday. During Communion, we sang Oculi Omnium (pdf) by Charles Wood (1866-1926). In English, the text reads:
The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord:
and Thou givest them their meat in due season.
Glory to Thee, O Lord. Amen.
Very apt as we move into Lent this week.Sadly, the homilist was a visiting seminarian (I believe) and due to some combination of his voice and the appalling acoustics back in the choir loft, I couldn’t understand a word he said. Other voices were fine (the lector, Father Larry, the Loreto sister who also spoke), and it wasn’t a volume issue. Some combination of (maybe) his accent, the pitch of his voice, and who knows…the carpets on the floor of the church… just deadened his speech. After mass, there was a blessing of throats, Feb 3 being the Memorial of St. Blaise. There were long lineups after mass to be blessed by one of the priests or deacons with these words:
Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
It was amazing to see probably three-quarters of the church join in the lines for the blessing.