On Wednesday I got in early to prepare a few oddments and then did the final school Mass of the Term. It was a Holy Week Mass and the mood reflected that but the priest did a great homily about HOPping to it (Help Other People). So I added a song impromptu to the schedule of music and moved by it he took it up again in his closing words.
I have a small group of students whom I have christened EOTs (‘ere ‘old this) after the practice of my old music teacher Paul Reed (RIP Feb 2015). They are a bunch of folk on hand to help with practical issues. Their main task is to break up the microphone and sound system after Mass and they are doing really well.
So from 10am until the evening I was free and able to take my kayak out on the waters again. This was only the second trip out abut judging from comments on my return later that evening I will need a higher factor sun protection for my dear face to counter the reflection from the water.
Tenebrae was going on in the church so choir practice happened in the Higgins Hall Library which is close to the church and equipped with a piano. The choir worked really hard and things are going well.
On Thursday I returned to the waters but without my kayak as its weight and awkward shape takes a toll on my back muscles! I was back in the office by 4.30pm doing final preparations for the start of the Three Days (Triduum).
The choir met again at 6pm although some dribbled in quite late! We managed to go over some stuff for Easter Vigil and revise tricky moments for the Holy Thursday Mass. We moved to the church and I introduced things to the congregation. At the last minute I was asked to lead the prayer response for the pastor’s renewal of priestly vows (he had not been able to make these at the Chrism Mass). More distressing was the Penitential Act where the priest seemed unclear as to what he was doing. Then during the homily the fire alarm went off due to the thrurible charcoals being relit behind the scenes close to the sensor! Apart from this all went well and we were done in 90 minutes. After the bells sounding during the Gloria they were not used later. In their place they used a clapper, sounded like a couple of wood blocks repeatedly banged together. Since the bells are a bit perfunctory in any case I thought the use of a clapper was just daft. Some details become such a matter of tradition that they remain unquestionable by logic!
Sung Night Prayer, an innovation I introduced, started 15 mins later. People responded well to what was unfamiliar.
After the celebrations we had a brief evaluation session which was useful.
I was home by 10pm and, after watching a transmission of the emotionally charged Mass with the Pope from a prison in Rome, considered sleep around midnight.