Sunday 27 September

Last Sunday was as you might expect a bit full on. I returned home during the afternoon for a rest before going out again for the evening Mass.

The Papal visit and all the materials I was producing for the parish to connect with it all occupied me greatly. As a consequence Monday which might usually have been a day off was not. Tuesday was spent working on producing instrumental arrangements for the weekend Masses.

On Wednesday there was the usual School Mass followed by a meeting to discuss in greater detail the music for the school Masses. The evening’s Choir practice was unusual in that it included a visit by the RCIA group. They had come to visit what they imagined was (and is) a community of prayer. We began with some introductions and then two of the choir spoke about how their membership had deepened their faith.  Then I got the group to sit among the choir and taught them all the refrain of ‘We have been told’ by David Haas and asked them questions relating to the text. Each RCIA member shared with a Choir member their response. We concluded with a sharing by the group of their favourite hymns. This all took less than 30 minutes and we then resumed the rehearsal by learning my own ‘O Sacrament of Love’.

Thursday was a kind of ‘day off’ with a visit to the doctor to discuss blood tests. In the afternoon  went into work to practice the Prelude (and Fugue) in Eb which I’d chosen to play during the weekend. In the evening I joined a number of friends from the staff for a meal and visit to see ‘Once’ at the Straz Theatre. This was a wonderful show in which the cast were also the musicians, singers, stage shifters, dancers etc. They even provided some Irish folk music before the show started. After the show we adjourned to another gastro pub for a nibble and beer.

On Friday I arose gently and had a Diocesan Musicians meeting at Whiskey Joe’s. I met some new faces on the music front and managed to decide the initial 4 core singers for a Florida version of the Wild Geese.

I did some more organ practice and then went to St Joseph’s Hospital to meet with the Chaplain there to discuss next week’s Founders’ Mass at which I would be the musician. That completed I was able to keep my evening appointment for an MRI scan. I was amazed that this facility was still open but was informed by the staff that the equipment was so expensive that they needed to use it as much as possible. Unfortunately the consultant who sent me there did not provided me with any paperwork so they could not proceed but agreed to obtain this and fixed another appointment.

I retired to Charan’s bar for a couple and met some friends who were on their way to the Long Bar so I followed them there.

On Saturday I had two funerals in the morning after which I did some more practice and then the Vigil Masses began. the homilies centred on the James reading and so I invented a post-communion chant on a text, ‘Faith without deeds means nothing’. In the evening I watched the Pope celebrating at the Festival of Families. He gave a great homily there and I incorporated texts from that into the Sunday morning Masses. I was pleased that the choir managed to do a good job with my ‘O Sacrament of Love’ but even more pleased that the Eb Prelude of Bach went so well.

I returned home during the afternoon having stopped en route at Goodwill. There I bought a framed print of a Sunset Beach scene and a food mixer!

In the evening I was back at church accompanied by a Cantor, trumpeter and (for his first visit) an accordionist. It reminded me of the time in 1997 when Marty Haugen and I co-led a Wild Goose music week on Iona. One of the pieces we did in the final concert included the line ‘Let every instrument be tuned for praise’. I didn’t have the courage then to refuse an accordionist and the same was true tonight. It turned out to be just as well as he was really good!

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