Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 1 December 2008

Ah, the anonymous letter of complaint...

.... hasn't every church music director received one?
To be fair, the original poster does not say it was anonymous, but I'm surmising, from the way he veers from feminine singular pronoun to the plural pronoun in his description of the receipt of the missive.
The responses really run the gamut, (one, for all intents and purposes advocates "send the son of b***** the bedbug letter.")
If you don't have the bad judgment (I can loan you mine if need be) to insult or lie to the complainer, I recommend a bland form letter.
A few choice bits, some original and others universal, I'd like to embroider some of them on a sampler and hang it from the railing of the loft, others I'd like to print in my next choir program, or work into conversation at a LitCom meeting, some I may actually use, and some I just chuckle to myself over...
No, not everyone is going to like everything - so give me a reason that your likes & dislikes should carry more weight than anyone else's likes & dislikes? And could ya maybe respect me enough to trust that despite the fact that I too have likes & dislikes I do not program for litrugy based on them?
And I was surprised at how casually the suggestion to put an article in the bulletin was made.... am I the only one who has to negotiate for space?
Although I was not displeased with my recent "Nothing Ordinary About It" description of the difference between Propers and Ordinary... (though I was displeased with the cutting and dumbing down, the latter admittedly done by myself in answer to Himself's caveats.)
Which, now that I think about it, was prompted by the approach of the anniversary of the liturgical occasion that netted me my first anonymous letter of complaint.
A general item about the Ordinary seemed so much more diplomatic than what I wanted to write, something about truly remarkable ignorance to complain about that weird foreign language things our parish sings instead of that nice Lord Have Mercy song most Catholics do....

Eleison, indeed.....

4 comments:

Sir Monocle said...

Great one!

I've heard everything from "you should be shot" to "we should sing 'Amazing Grace' every Sunday". An old teacher told me that when it comes to hymns, they should be chosen by TEXT not TUNE. So, when I receive complaints on my choice of hymns, I always say, "I choose this hymn because the TEXT "... ... ... "refers to today's Gospel (first reading, or what have you).

That usually quiets them down a bit.

Also - I do hope you're not too angry over my last ramapage. Sorry about that. That priest touched a sensitive nerve.

Sir Monocle said...

Great one!

I've heard everything from "you should be shot" to "we should sing 'Amazing Grace' every Sunday". An old teacher told me that when it comes to hymns, they should be chosen by TEXT not TUNE. So, when I receive complaints on my choice of hymns, I always say, "I choose this hymn because the TEXT "... ... ... "refers to today's Gospel (first reading, or what have you).

That usually quiets them down a bit.

Also - I do hope you're not too angry over my last ramapage. Sorry about that. That priest touched a sensitive nerve.

Gavin said...

No, not everyone is going to like everything - so give me a reason that your likes & dislikes should carry more weight than anyone else's likes & dislikes?

This is SO SIMPLE and yet no one gets it!! Everytime I get a complaint, I just want to ask "who are you, and why should I care what you want?" I HAVE however replied in the past "I'd love to do that, but the Pope says I can't, and he outranks you. Sorry."

Scelata said...

No, no, no, Sir Monocle,no anger whatsoever.
But, "you should be shot"??!?@?#?$?%???
Really?
I'll stop complaining....
(Oh, and my boss does not agree that the relevance of the text, its similarity to that of the proper's text outranks "that's a song we all like, here!")

Gavin, I will admit this in a combox, I want to ask my boss, my pastor -- why should his "I like this tune/I don't like this tune" be of any more interest to me than the preferences of the cafeteria lady's?
Nor can I seem to convince the Dread LitCom that I don't "like" a good portion of what I program, that that is not relevant, nor is their likes and dislikes.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)