Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Very "Churchy" Weekend

So this has been a truly church-filled weekend.

Friday night we had a concert at our church, something that doesn't happen all that often. We were lucky enough to have Lori True and Paul Tate come and sing for us. Or with us, I should say. The printed program had music in it and we sang along on all but maybe three pieces. It was prayerful and uplifting and I really enjoyed it. Plus Paul and Lori are so nice and personable that it was just great to have them with us.

Saturday morning Lori and Paul held a music clinic for cantors which was amazing. We were joined by quite a few cantors from area churches and she had each one get up and sing a psalm and then worked with him/her on her presentation, singing skills, just everything. Lori has an awesome way of watching a singer and being able to put her finger on what is wrong, be it breath support, phrasing, being too powerful or too timid, not opening vowels enough, whatever. And you might not even be able to figure out what is off until she changes it and you go "AHA!" I wish I had had the huevos to get up and let her critique me, but I just didn't feel ready. And I learned so much just watching everyone else.

Which is a good thing, because I cantored for the first time at the 4:3o mass. I was kibbying a bit because I was kind of thrown into the deep end of the pool, but I swam. God help me, I swam.

I sang in tandem with Lise, who has been a cantor for a million years, and I knew she wouldn't let me drown. So she started the program, announced the entrance song and all that. But we did the responsorial psalm together, singing together on the response and I did verse 1 and 3 and she did 2 and 4. My voice was shaky and I know I wasn't pitch perfect, but it wasn't hideous either, and I have to say I was kind of glad when it was behind me.

Then Lise introduced the preparation of gifts song and we all sang and she did all the mass parts like the Gospel acclamation and the Mystery of faith and the Holy holy holy. But I did the lead on Lamb of God while Lise sang the descant and that sounded really good. I was so pleased with that little bit. And emboldened by my success, I introduced the communion song and the closing song and sang them from the "cantor's spot". Jeanne, our choir director, was pleased and Lise said I did great and not to change a thing, which made me happy all over.

I just wish I didn't get so shaky, especially my voice. It's like I can't trust it completely. Lise told me she never got rid of the shakes completely, but that they do get to the point where you can mostly ignore them.

And it looks like I'll be singing more 8:00 masses than anything since it's a hard mass to fill and the usual cantor hasn't been well lately. It works in my favor since it's mostly older folks that early and it's not as heavily populated as the 10:30.

And now I'm still going to my usual 10:30 mass tomorrow because Friend Bob's (you remember Friend Bob...) parents are in town and they're coming to mass with us and then out to lunch. I still have to bring Bug to church, especially since it's her first Religious Education class tomorrow. I'm so excited for her!

So it has been a weekend of prayer and song and I have to say I've enjoyed myself.


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