Easter Vigil: music considerations of an experienced pastor

From the great Fr. Blake of St. Mary Magdalene in Brighton.  He is working through the Holy Week music for his parish:

An email from the Directrix of S M Magdalen Choral Services:

After much thought, I have decided we are doing too much latin, this is the revised music programme for the Easter vigil

LUMEN CHRISTI – This will replaced by a liturgical dance performed by the choir with the aid of ‘glow in the dark’ sticks and cigarette lighters
EXULTET – This will now be sung in English in a rap style accompanied by a hip hop beat
PSALMS between the readings – O Lord you are the centre of my life
By the rivers of Babylon (boney M)
Let it be – The Beatles

GLORIA – Clapping Gloria. People may use wood blocks if they don’t feel up to clapping

Alleluia Psalm – Hallelujah Song (Leonard Cohen) followed by ‘He’s got the whole wide world in his hands.’ Additional verses can be improvised,
‘He’s got St Mary Magdalen’s in his hands etc." to make it feel more topical.

Sprinkling Rite – A medley of songs from Sister Act II: Back in the Habit

Offertory – Bind us together with tambourine accompaniment

Communion Majesty

End Shine Jesus Shine with Power Guitar solo after verse three

Clare, I concur, we must look after the older generations.

 

A racket, indeed!

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26 Responses to Easter Vigil: music considerations of an experienced pastor

  1. Mary Ann says:

    April Fool! (One can only hope!!!)

  2. John V says:

    Cigarette lighters are passe. Gotta flip open the cell phones instead.

  3. kate says:

    Is this a joke?

  4. Dave Pawlak says:

    Can’t do the cigarette lighters, since smoking is bad. Gotta use cell phones instead.

  5. Patricia Gonzalez says:

    Gotta be an April Fool joke, right? Right, Father? …. (nervous pause)… Right??

  6. mbd says:

    Not completely farfetched – at least one local church in the Diocese of Palm Beach has taken to the use of glow sticks for the Holy Saturday liturgy. I have heard – but cannot confirm – that there may be an insurance issue with tapers. If true, it would be better if nothing were used, as glow sticks are barely short of an abomination (if true, it also raises a disturbing prospect that insurance mandates might determine liturgical practice – one can contemplate various facets of the application of such a principle as in the banning of incense because some congregants have a sensitivity to its smoke).

  7. mbd says:

    Not completely farfetched – at least one local church (Diocese of Palm Beach) has taken to the use of glow sticks for the Holy Saturday liturgy. I have heard – but cannot personally confirm – that there may be an insurance issue in respect to the use of tapers (if true, this raises a disturbing question of whether, and to what extent, insurance mandates should be allowed to control liturgical practice – one can contemplate various facets to such a principle as, e.g., the elimination of the use of incense on the ground that some congregants may be sensitive to its smoke). In respect to the glow sticks, it would clearly be preferable to use nothing if tapers or candles cannot be used

  8. mbd says:

    Sorry for the double posting, but I received a message that the first was not accepted because the spam word had just changed – apparently it was accepted nonetheless.

  9. Rancher says:

    I think I’m gonna get sick!

  10. Edward Martin says:

    All parishes in our Archdiocese have decided to cancel the Easter Vigil as it was not considered inclusive enough by the local Human Rights Commission.

  11. JL says:

    It’s not so far-fetched at all–I used to work for a parish (granted, an Episcopal parish, but still) that recently instituted a vigil looking surprisingly like this one, complete with Eucharistic prayer from the Hip-Hop Prayer Book (it exists!) We choristers had that night off.

  12. Curtis says:

    What a positive and relevant liturgy!

    Three criticisms:

    1. The line in “Let It Be” referencing “Mother Mary” would be a stumbling block to our separated brethren in Christ. Are there plans to remove this?

    2. A bongo solo instead a guitar solo during Shine Jesus Shine would be more accommodating to immigrants and less euro-centric.

    3. And surely in this day and age, we cannot be singing about “him” having the whole world in “his” hands? Sorry, the whole thing smacks of patriarchy and heteronormativity.

  13. Mary Ann says:

    Exactly, Curtis!

    And regarding looking after the older generations…what was wrong with a medley from Sister Act itself?? Hmmmm???

    After all, most movies are [fill in the blank] and the sequel was [fill in the blank!]. “I will follow him/her/it!” “Hey, Mary” “Gimme, gimme, gimme some Gravy Tonight” (well, maybe not the later for the sprinkling rite)

    Alma, CHECK YOUR BATTERY!

    [I’m formerly of St. Thomas the Apostle parish, Beloit, WI: Ruth KolpacK’s parish, where liturgical DANCE was done more than a few times—no fooling, I’m sorry to say. BTW, if anyone wants to read the offending thesis, it can be found at http://www.scribd.com/doc/13441413/Ruth-Kolpack-Thesis ]

  14. Was he in some sort of psychic contact with Father Ernesto, who wrote this humorous piece for April Fools?

    http://www.wittenburgdoor.com/your-guide-contemporary-christian-music

    I like the “olive oily feeling” part.

  15. GordonBOPS says:

    Sounds like the Parish I attended in my youth!

  16. Bogna says:

    Some years ago I’ve heard a recording of Heavy Metal Good Friday liturgy. Nothing can beat it.

  17. Alan F. says:

    “we must look after the older generations.”

    LOL

  18. Fr W says:

    Our music director doesn’t allow the Gloria to be sung for the Easter vigil – I mean, it is omitted! He says the liturgy ‘doesn’t flow with the Gloria.’ Instead, he does a mammoth rendition of some Alleluia thing. Someday I’ll be a pastor. Meanwhile, constant pain at high feastdays, and Tridentine Mass privately.

  19. Immaculatae says:

    This not that far from some Parish’s reality. Please pray for conversion of Music Directors/Liturgists.

  20. Ephem says:

    As a parish music director, mostly I take this in good humor, but I do wish the good Father hadn’t conceived a “directrix” of musoc for his parody. Plenty of bad music decisions are made by men.

    Thanks for letting me share that sentiment before rushing off to prepare more Latin introits. A good Holy Week to all!

  21. Kathy says:

    The above comment was mine.Cheers.

  22. chironomo says:

    Sadly this is not all that far off-base, and would have been totally believable about 10-15 years ago. I recall worse selections….

  23. chironomo says:

    “And surely in this day and age, we cannot be singing about “him” having the whole world in “his” hands? Sorry, the whole thing smacks of patriarchy and heteronormativity.”

    That’s easily solved…

    “God’s got the whole world in God’s hands,
    God’s got the whole world in God’s hands,
    God’s got the whole world in God’s hands,
    God’s got the whole world in God’s hands,

  24. chironomo says:

    Kathy;

    I don’t think the good Father was trying to imply anything about female directors, but rather about the kind of female director that would insist on calling herself a “Directrix”

    Other options:

    Lectrix
    Extraordinary Ministrix
    Cantrix

  25. Kathy says:

    Chironomo,

    Of all the lousy music out there, how much of it was written/ marketed/ foisted on weary parishioners by men?

    Most of it.

    So let’s not blame me and my female colleagues, esp. since many of us are working on the restoration of truly sacred music.