Friday, December 26, 2008

A Heathen's Guide to Church Choir Singing ....

... or “Good Lord, what are they doing now?”

My friend Jon the Hobbit, who has sung in church choirs for several decades, offers "The things that run through a visiting singer’s mind when he attends an unfamiliar church’s services":
A few observations from my biannual (Easter & Christmas) sojourns with the Catholics:

Overall, since there isn’t really a sermon, the extra time is filled with music, so you sing at least twice as much as in an average Protestant service.

Catholic music tends to be gloomier than Protestant music, especially the week before Easter, so you’re going to want to do something to lighten your mood. I suggest gathering a group of your favorite children and dying eggs. Get silly, please!

Catholic Communion is “members only”.

The choir loft is at the back of the Catholic church, where the priest can keep an eye on us. Does this indicate a basic distrust of musicians?

The grander the church, the more tortuous the climb to the loft.

It's probably wrong to refer to Processing as "walkies".

I thought that it was unnecessarily cruel to chant "Stay With Us" as the congregation was leaving Maundy Thursday.

They've turned out the lights. Are they going to tell "Holy Ghost" stories?

The priest has started going about the church, sprinkling everyone with something. NOW I'm glad I climbed all the way up to this loft.

Whatever you do, don’t laugh if the visiting priest accidentally steps into the Baptismal pool.

At least this year the priest didn't almost set himself on fire when he lit the barbie.

The Priest said something about the Israelites being made to drink bitter waters. Is that how they invented having coffee after church?

Other observations:

The Presbyterians prize Order above all else. The Presbyterians have assigned seats. They like it that way. Their “Passing the Peace” lasts exactly 1.5 minutes.

The Presbyterian Pastor called a meeting of the Congregation right after the Service. That means I get first crack at the cookies!

It’s probably wrong to argue “Predestination” with the church secretary when you’re trying to book their church for a concert.

The Episcopalians love to parade even more than the Catholics. Everyone processes in, everyone processes out, & in the middle of the service they line everyone up & process to communion, so there’s no avoiding it.

The Episcopalians seem to have their services conducted by committee. By this I mean that there is more than one person up front & I’m not sure who is in charge.

Never ask the Adventists about the “Great Disappointment”.

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