Monday 19 January

Another week passes and I must resolve to publish the blog more frequently because clearly my memory is fading!

The weather is still unreliable here. It can still be warm but cloudy and there have been relatively few sunny days. Thursday was a sunny day after 11am.

This week followed the usual pattern but on Tuesday afternoon after the usual liturgical music rehearsal with the school I did the first rehearsal with the choir. They will now be the ‘cantors’ at the Wednesday morning whole-school masses. The school choir would not get much to do without this.

The following day we had the school mass and the effect of the choir was well witnessed. After Mass I had a meeting about opportunities for silence during Mass. there would be a follow-up meeting next week.

Choir practice that evening was great and we decided to introduce quite a lot of new stuff for the remainder of the ordinary time before Lent.

On Thursday I had a day in the office working on planning for Triduum. Towards the end of the afternoon we had a meeting to discuss the same.

On Friday I was free and after 11am it brightened up so I went down to the beach for a few hours. Saturday started later than it had for recent weeks. there was no funeral or wedding so I was able to relax until time for the vigil masses. At one of these masses the son of a woman recently dead approached me to discuss the music for the funeral on Monday. He also requested that I sing the chapter 31 from Proverbs about the ‘capable wife’ .

On Sunday it was Masses again with a brief return home in the afternoon. During the weekend I had introduced my ‘Glory to God’ from the New Wine mass at all masses. It had been well-received and although I taught only the two outer sections I heard people singing the middle section too! I also introduced 3 iona songs – ‘In love you summon’, ‘Greenbelt’ Alleluia and ‘Goodness is stronger than evil’.

This morning I awoke slightly groggy but went in for a funeral at 1130. On the way in I decided to set the ‘capable wife’ text to a psalm tone. When I entered the church there were hundreds of folk queuing to pay their respects to family and the open coffin. It took a further 80 minutes for the queue to disperse and the funeral started at 1245! In the meantime I had given an organ recital including four preludes from the ’18’ and two ciaconas by Pachelbel.

The family had engaged an octogenarian lady to sing the Ave Maria who certainly had a unique interpretation to offer!

On the way home I stopped at Goodwill and bought a Yamaha active speaker and at Charann’s bar for a few beers and good conversation.

Once I got home I picked up a message that my uncle Colin had died. He had be huge in my life as a family member who was more present than many. He was there at the German Church in my early years, a great supporter of the Catholic Church and equally its critic when needed. He worked hard to support his family which was not without its own difficulties. He had a wonderful sense of humour and remained convinced that my big house in Sheffield was really a brothel. May he now rest in peace after a  long battle with ill health.

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