Wednesday 10 December

Little did I know when I wrote my last remark about Stoke beating arsenal that Newcastle had beaten my beloved Chelsea. That particular shock was in store for Tuesday night.

If you had to choose a week in which to cancel a Liturgical Music rehearsal for the School this would not have been it! There were two masses this week requiring different music and today was the second. The children were really tolerant as I tried to get them into singing mood but sometimes the unusually grey weather just takes a hold of the prevailing mood of 600 children and there is nothing you can do to shift it.

I returned to the office after the mass and got on with further tweaks to the Christmas services. Then before too long I was back in church for the next Holy Day Mass at midday. There I thought I’d be on a safe bet starting with Immaculate Mary but not at all. It was good to see the original 3-verse text in the books but I had not appreciated that in USA the rhythm of the refrain is altered oddly. I played them out to Alain’s Litanies which, I was delighted to discover, I could still play!

An afternoon in the office and I was back for the 7pm Mass. There was a gentleman making a very decent sound so after I’d played Litanies again I went to seek him out. In the event he had gone to collect the car (it was raining) while his wife and daughter waited in the church. On approaching them I discovered that the daughter was intending to join the Christmas Choir on Wednesday. A message on Wednesday morning revealed that she had also persuaded the father to come along. Happy days!

I stayed up late on Monday night watching, of all things, the transmission of Mass for the Immaculate Conception from the Basilica of the same name in Washington DC. It started at midnight so I don’t know what I was thinking.

Predictably the following day started later and I was in work for 10am and a meeting about one of the Christmas Masses. Then I was able to get further tweaks completed before meeting with the Pastor later that afternoon. Beforehand came another music rehearsal with the school. One girl said I was looking particularly American. They know how to get to an Englishman, don’t they? The rehearsal went very well and was nothing of the uphill struggle the previous day. the meeting with the Pastor continued in the same light vein with him trying to fit the texts for every carol I’d selected to the tune of ‘Il est ne’???

I made some minor adjustments to my drafts and completed the music arrangements for the choir before going home at 7pm. There I watched Chelsea being beaten by Newcastle. I went to bed disconsolate before the final whistle.

I awoke early this morning but pootled about only getting in to the church at 8am for the school mass. fr Rock was the celebrant and he gave me a copy of Dickens’ Christmas carol before mass started.  it was his birthday on Thursday so I got the school to sing him a rousing chorus. It was an amazingly spiritual mass with music choices, readings and homily all resounding to the same message.

I had forgotten about the liturgy meeting this morning at 1030 but managed to fit it in. The meeting I thought I had at noon did not exist, it would seem, so I was able to escape the office at 1pm and go home to relax before the evening’s choir practice. This would be the first rehearsal for Christmas and would included some parishioners who unable to make a regular commitment seemed delighted to be invited to join for Christmas.


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