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Sermon Occupations For Organists


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But be careful about complaints of repition - in a few weeks time many churches will use the hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" - just count how many times that text uses the word "Hallelujah"!  (and rightly so).

 

 

What about the Hallelujah Chorus in Messiah? And all those, to me beautiful, repetitive litanies and alleluias in the old Catholic liturgy? Or the 9-fold Kyrie? Or even Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him from Praise. my soul, the King of Heaven? I think we should examine our own hearts before knocking the sentiments of others. And never knock anyone for asserting their legal copyright.

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... And never knock anyone for asserting their legal copyright.

 

I should have thought that, under the circumstances of the song which I mentioned, this is rather stretching the point - to use the name of Christ eight times in a row and then claim copyright is just nonsense.

 

Having had several years' experience of a number of different churches - some extremely 'charismatic', I would still argue against some of the mindless repetition which I had to endure. Whilst the examples which you cite are indisputably repetitions, they are not the normal type of thing in my own church; whereas, in the charismatic-style places with which I was formerly acquainted, every week a large proportion of the songs were repeated several times (occasionally ten or more). Since the words were not particularly challenging nor taxing to begin with, I found the apparently mindless repetition at best soporific (which I regard as dangerous, in any case) and at worst, somewhat pointless.

 

However, I do not propose to start an argument concerning traditional hymns vs. 'worship songs' - since this would also be pointless.

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Since the words were not particularly challenging nor taxing to begin with, I found the apparently mindless repetition at best soporific (which I regard as dangerous, in any case) and at worst, somewhat pointless.
The question is: what is the point of singing these endless repetitions? Why do people write them? If, as I suspect, it's to get congregations whipped up into a state of ecstacy, worship, belief, or anything else, then it's little more than a brain-washing technique. Consequently, I view such songs with profound suspicion.
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But be careful about complaints of repition - in a few weeks time many churches will use the hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" - just count how many times that text uses the word "Hallelujah"!  (and rightly so).

 

 

P.S.  I'm not getting into discussions about the truth of the resurrection

 

======================

 

Amen to that, Tony, but it still wouldn't be Handel would it? B)

 

As for the "truth" of the resurrection, I think we can at least agree that "you can't keep a good man down."

 

Isn't that the REAL truth?

 

:blink:

 

MM

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The question is: what is the point of singing these endless repetitions? Why do people write them? If, as I suspect, it's to get congregations whipped up into a state of ecstacy, worship, belief, or anything else, then it's little more than a brain-washing technique. Consequently, I view such songs with profound suspicion.

 

 

I agree, VH!

 

Incidentally, than you for the link to the dreadful song, which you provided - I shudder to think that someone was

1) serious, when he/she wrote it and

2) presumably thought that it was worth publishing.

 

I shall never moan about Lead me, Lord again....

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Well I am at least reassured having found the text that the term "offensive line" refers to (presumably) American football rather than a front line trench from The Great War. But does anyone know the meaning of "tempestion" ? It is a completely new word to me, and one would have thought a strange choice for someone wanting to write in the most accessible way, unless it is in common use in American English.

 

My personal preference would be to introduce the author to the three bears shown in the picture. Indeed perhaps he has already met the bear lying back after seemingly having enjoyed a fine meal, in which case we shall be sadly denied any more of his imaginative new ways by which salvation may be obtained. My personal preference would be for something less physically painful.

 

Brian Childs

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But does anyone know the meaning of "tempestion" ? It is a completely new word to me, and one would have thought a strange choice for someone wanting to write in the most accessible way, unless it is in common use in American English.
I very much doubt it. I googled the word and only got 316 hits, virtually all of which were links to these lyrics. None of the three or four other instances looked credible.
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But does anyone know the meaning of "tempestion" ?

I automatically read it as a mistyping of "temptation", but I hear that he sings "tempestion", so I can only suppose that he got tongue-tied when singing it and the transcriber just typed what he heard without thought.

 

Paul

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Personally, I try to comment on the Gospel every time - unless it just does not lend itself easily to word-painting. In the latter case, I try to echo the mood of the service - I am a little surprised at the comment of your boss, unless, of course, he just does not think that it is worth doing anything very exciting on a half-dead electric piano.

 

 

Are you being difficult? I hope not, I know a professional - oh, never mind.

 

It's the choice of hymns I'm not allowed to comment on. Lest we should think this were becoming a democracy or something.

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Are you being difficult? I hope not, I know a professional - oh, never mind.

 

It's the choice of hymns I'm not allowed to comment on. Lest we should think this were becoming a democracy or something.

 

Moi - difficile? Not at all!

 

Your exact meaning was (to me) a little unclear.

 

Although your explanation does also seem a shame - do you mean that, if you objected to a particular hymn, you would be censured if you gave voice to your objection?

 

:blink:

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Moi - difficile? Not at all!

 

Your exact meaning was (to me) a little unclear.

 

Although your explanation does also seem a shame - do you mean that, if you objected to a particular hymn, you would be censured if you gave voice to your objection?

 

B)

 

 

Oh yes. Very definitely. Although I'm allowed to choose the hymns - at first, then I give them to the boss, who changes them. It's a power thing, you know. But the not-hymns, I don't choose them. Well, I wouldn't would I?

 

Not very good at English any more. Ziss is a pity.

 

;)B

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Guest Lee Blick

For choosing hymns, it is either I choose them, or the Boss. It is much easier, quicker and straight-forward. I have tried hymn choosing sessions with either the vicar or other music people but they tend drag on for ever and they become a chore whereas I like to take my time, looking at the readings and themes and doing small chunks. The vicar makes changes as he sees fit. I get grouchy when the boss changes things at the last minute particularly if I have rehearsed music with the choir. So he tends not to. B)

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For choosing hymns, it is either I choose them, or the Boss.  It is much easier, quicker and straight-forward.  I have tried hymn choosing sessions with either the vicar or other music people but they tend drag on for ever and they become a chore whereas I like to take my time, looking at the readings and themes and doing small chunks.  The vicar makes changes as he sees fit.  I get grouchy when the boss changes things at the last minute particularly if I have rehearsed music with the choir.  So he tends not to.  B)

 

Mine doesn't care if I get grouchy,,,,,,,,in fact he rather likes it, as he can then tell others how impossible it is to work with his organist.

 

I offered to let him choose them, but he didn't want to do it like that, as he wouldn't be able to assert his authority then.

 

B

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Mine doesn't care if I get grouchy,,,,,,,,in fact he rather likes it, as he can then tell others how impossible it is to work with his organist.

 

I offered to let him choose them, but he didn't want to do it like that, as he wouldn't be able to assert his authority then.

 

B

 

=========================

 

Zer are wayz!

 

When faced with this sort of thing, I would give the note for the Anglican Responses on a Tierce Mixture, or if an incumbent changed a hymn at the last minute, I would find a relatively obscure tune which fitted, and play that. (The English Hymnal was wonderful for that sort of obscurity)

 

One could always play strange and slightly disturbing improvisations at critical moments.

 

I find that, when it comes to power struggles, Full Great to Mixture plus a couple of Pedal reeds tends to work wonders.

 

It's a bit like dog-training really. You make bad things happen when the clergy misbehave, and reward them with good things when they come to heel. Over a period of time, things get better, and no-one knows why.......it's a subliminal thing.

 

It's no use going down the road chosen by certain past cathedral organists in the UK, who would arrive wrecked on evil home-brewed potions, play the service and then proceed to get even more wrecked after it.

 

Of course, you could make a point by arriving at church carrying empty-bottles wrapped in brown-paper or noisily dropping a metal hip-flask during the prayers; getting some young chorister to retrieve it from the middle of the chancel for you.

 

That's possibly the best way to get a wonderful reference when applying for the next job.

 

MM

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Guest Lee Blick

The only time I have ever been naughty was when a visiting priest requested before the service that I didn't play too loudly, which I thought was insulting because the organ (Hunter) I was playing at the time was incapable of being played loudly, having no reeds and nothing above 4ft. I gave him a high intoning note for the Susam Corda and he proceeded to screech through the Eucharistic Prayer to the point congregational members were screwing up their faces and then I cut him short by coming into the Sanctus and the Eucharistic Acclamation before he finished his sentances.

 

I know I should have shown some restraint and self-control but I was in a stinking mood that morning,

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Mine doesn't care if I get grouchy,,,,,,,,in fact he rather likes it, as he can then tell others how impossible it is to work with his organist.

 

I offered to let him choose them, but he didn't want to do it like that, as he wouldn't be able to assert his authority then.

 

 

 

=================

 

 

Re-reading Barry's reply, I had to chuckle at the "Church Times" recently, which told the story of the Vicar who was leaving a particular church.

 

Addressing his flock, he said, "I am not leaving because I am in dispute with the Churchwardens or at loggerheads with the organist. Rather, I am leaving because Jesus called me here, and now he is calling me somewhere else."

 

After the address, the curate announced the last hymn, which was sung with extraordinary glee.

 

"WHAT a friend we have in Jesus"

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
Not forgetting the Organists' Motto:

 

Practise while he preaches! :lol:

MB

 

 

N.B. Switch off the organ first! This is a lesson I learned c.1970.

I vividly remember being present in the organ loft at Winchester Cathedral when Clement McWilliam was using the 'dead' sermon time to rehearse an accompaniment with all stops off but (unfortunately) the blower on. A stray finger caught a piston and we were all treated to a very public distraction!

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Is it just me that uses sermon time to pick the hymns to play during communion, 'cos I'm too disorganised to do it beforehand?

If we're in Common Worship mode, the Peace is just the right opportunity to hand round slips of paper with the numbers on.

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Is it just me that uses sermon time to pick the hymns to play during communion, 'cos I'm too disorganised to do it beforehand?

If we're in Common Worship mode, the Peace is just the right opportunity to hand round slips of paper with the numbers on.

 

Hi

 

I hope so! Indeed, I think that you owe it to yourself and your congregation to be better prepared! We are talking about the worship of Almighty God.

 

I refer you to my earlier posts in this thread.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

I hope so!  Indeed, I think that you owe it to yourself and your congregation to be better prepared!  We are talking about the worship of Almighty God.

 

I refer you to my earlier posts in this thread.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

==========================

 

 

Well, isn't that typical?

 

A poor organist spends sermon-time doing the Lord's work picking hymns, and a clergyman suggests that he should be better-prepared.

 

At least he wasn't picking out winners at Haydock Park like one old catholic organist I knew!

 

:(

 

MM

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