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Saturday, 30 May 2009

Schubert Saturation?

Or Art Song Ennui?

Ave Overload?

In any case, I am suffering from it.

It seems worse this season, perhaps because in addition to the usual weddings at this time of year, we have growing numbers of Quincenearas, and because other parishes are asking me to help them out for funerals.

Anyway, I am tired of singing it. I am tired of hearing it.

I try to steer brides, (yes, it is virtually always their decisions, try as I do to involve grooms in the decision-making process,) to something else for the Marian prayer/dedication, (what is the correct term for this little rite shoe-horned into the wedding ceremony?) but the only time I had any success, it backfired -- Hail Mary Gentle Woman.

In 7 years I have convinced exactly ZERO couples to re-think the procession, and bring it more into line with what should be normative, (since the priests don't care, this is not likely to change, and the couples look at this as some eccentricity of mine. Kind of like my insistence that "the chant between the readings" is Scripture.)

It has become clear that what I am expected to "bring to" this, what I am being paid for, is doing a tolerable job playing the Canon in D and the Prelude to Charpentier's Te Deum, and doing a bang-up job singing some pretty song.

Encouraging song from the assembly is just another eccentricity. Prioritizing that participation, ranking the acclamations and dialogues over "our favorite song"?
Another quirk.


I have found that the Offertory is the moment when the chance for enthusiastic congregational singing is highest, (I know this is not universal, in some parishes according to posters on the MusicaSacra boards, it is the very worst, but this is so at regular Liturgies and ritual Masses, where everyone is seated and the bride and groom are not in motion, and their adorable 5-year-old accessories are not creating a photo op,) but again, we are an "All Hymns, All the Time" parish and I have never been able to interest anyone in a strophic approximation of the propers; and seldom in a text with any relevance to the situation. ( River's God is Love, Love Divine All Loves Excelling, Where Charity and Love...,")

These are some recent wedding "congregational hymn" requests or regrets:

Be Not Afraid
Amazing Grace
On Eagles Wings,
and my personal favorite (drum roll, please, ............):
We Rise Again From Ashes


Dad29 said...

If you have a competent soprano, you might like Flor Peeters' Wedding Song

Scelata said...

Thanks for the tip -- I've used some of his organ music, and I recall my parents having choral music with his name on it around the house, so I assume my childhood parish sang it, but to my recollection, I have never sung anything by Peeters.

Hey, I'm, a competent soprano!

Trouble is, brides and grooms want what they want, hence, the Schubert Ave Maria overload.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World!)