Today was the big day. For future reference – make sure you get contact numbers for all possible singers so you can check up how they’re going before the day.

But really, there are two scenarios – either no one is going to be prepared so they will probably be impressed with whatever you do, or there will be prepared people and they will help you.

I admit I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew by myself. The idea of a female to be the cantor was always bugging me. My husband was not keen to give it a go – he is great at singing from the pews, but not solo.

Lo and behold a wonderful (award winning) family of singers drove up ten minutes before Mass was due to begin. These are mostly young adults now – including trained male voices. I’m not sure if I should name them here but many thanks go to them.

FirstSundaySept is the revised booklet. This includes Adoro Te as a communion hymn and Hail Queen of Heaven as the recessional hymn.

And there was a great point in the sermon. The Gospel was the parable of the Good Samaritan and Father compared it to last week’s gospel on a miraculous cure (the Ephpheta one). After the miracle Jesus says, don’t tell anyone. After the parable He says, go and do likewise. It reminded me of that common theme with saints who are reluctant to speak about miracles – sort of an inbuilt instinct that this gift is not meant to be flaunted.

The resources that really helped were:

So the next attempt is scheduled for 9th October 2011 – 17th Sunday after Pentecost.

So the flawed logic was “I can sing this music” “I am an idiot” therefore “Any idiot can sing this stuff”. Of course, ideally everyone should be able to sing this stuff, but in this culture even being able to sing is not a given. Also with the rubbish on most media channels – you just don’t here the style of singing you need for the Mass. You need to be able to hit the note accurately – no sliding. There’s no improvisation – we want unity – humble blending – we’re trying to faithfully recreate some of the musical traditions handed down from ages immemorial. It is very simple, much simpler than the vocal gymnastics you get on the radio, but it needs discipline and practice.

So, in conclusion, the CD and booklet helps, but it is not enough by itself. You do need some sort of choir and training to pull this off. And the Sit, Stand, Kneel instructions may have helped somewhat, but not 100%. Also giving people more than one week’s notice would have been good too.

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