Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mea Culpa

Oh dear, I've been bad...

I well know how it is to sing awry: the very first time the schola in Hobart ever sang at Mass, back in the nineties, a nice old lady toddled down to the back of the church to thank us afterwards, but added, "What was that terrible thing you sang at the start, over and over again?" - it was the Introit!

For the feast of St Philip Neri some years back, while still in Perth, Justin and I arranged with Fr Rowe to have a sung Mass (very kindly, he even went to the trouble of preparing an excellent sermon, which he was delighted to confirm with me afterward - I, who have read many books on the Saint - contained all manner of details I had not previously known).  Rather foolishly we had decided on singing Mass V, which we'd never sung before: suffice to say we massacred it, and probably the Propers too (not having practised at all), and at the end, when we went to sing the hymn I'd chosen, it turned out that Justin (playing the organ) had the music for an entirely different setting that neither I nor anyone else had ever heard, with the result that what had been intended to be a rousing finale was instead a complete disaster.

So for those who think I've been too critical - I first of all condemn myself for having on more than one occasion completely ruined Missæ cantatæ.  This is true.


Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear Joshua,

Thanks for this post. I was at Saint Aloysius on Sunday and realised the difficulties the schola was having because only two regular members were present and the director was absent. The alternative in January, when the choir take a much needed rest, is to have a Low Mass, this year the schola was available.

As you mentioned, concerning your own experience, things can go wrong.

In Christo,

Victorian Trad said...

Josh, I actually think your original comments were reasonable.

Some of the comments left on this blog seem to reflect the "no original thinking or criticism allowed" mentality that seems to infect many (though not everyone) in the Latin Mass Community in Melbourne (and other places). This cult-like mentality is not healthy.

Joshua said...

Suffice to say that I have long-standing friends -still! - among the Latin Mass community in Melbourne (dating back long before the move to St Aloysius), and who are quite honest and open about faults and failings therein. No one is infallible or faultless, after all.

I can be very touchy and thin-skinned too; I certainly react very badly to any criticism whatsoever, so I suppose in a strange way I entirely understand the reaction of those I inadvertently upset...

Won't it make for a lovely Holy Week this year, having yours truly there, blogging away about it all! ;-)

I am glad I've started practising, LOL.

On a humorous note, I do wish they went in more for lace, Roman vestments, or at the very least birettas, with extra-tall (not extra-short) mitres for visiting prelates: but that's just my preference for the Baroque (or is that 18th C. bad taste?).

"Do bear with a little foolishness".