I’m a fan of each of Xmas, Thanksgiving, and Superbowl Sunday. Christmas definitely has the best music.
Last night, went, for specifically that reason, with my sister to the Christmas Eve service at St. Mark’s cathedral.
Ended up getting all pissed off when, not two moments after offering prayers for peace and justice, did they offer “especial” prayers to the military and associated family-members. Uh, what? How about for the victims of our military endeavours? If they’d have been smart, they’d have sent the moneydish around before that; ’cause I’d probably have dropped some in.
Anyhow, the music was pretty good, though I found the organ a bit overwhelming. Quite enjoyed the tympanist (pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever written the word “tympanist”!).
Was struck by the enormous number of hymns from which to choose, and had been musing aloud that it might be kind of funny if the choir director had chosen thus-and-so hymn for a given day’s service, only to be disagreed with by the Grand Poobah — and then maybe it would come to blows (or what?).
Turns out, though, that the Poobah’s word is final in matters musical (sort of). Got a kick out of this passage, from the fine print in the Hymnal 1982 (emphasis added):
It shall be the duty of every Member of the Clergy to see that music is used as an offering for the glory of God and as a help to the people in their worship in accordance with The Book of Common Prayer and as authorized by the rubrics or by the General Convention of this Church. To this end the Member of the Clergy shall have final authority in the administration of matters pertaining to music. In fulfilling this responsibility the Minister shall seek assistance from persons skilled in music. Together they shall see that music appropriate to the context in which it is used. — Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church, Title 2, Canon 6, Section 1
Are you “skilled in music”? If so, don’t be surprised to at some point receive a phone call from an Episcopalian minister!