12 May 2003

Wow. I can hardly believe it, but I'm actually home. My parents came and got me from college and drove me back home from the land of unpredictable weather (80 degrees in the early afternoon, hailing at 5pm?) to the land of the warm sun and blooming flowers. Mental note--have a fresh bouquet of roses on the sideboard for Mama when she comes home from work tomorrow.

I'm really going to miss some things about college this summer. My friends, of course, but that goes without saying. I'm going to miss having access to that wonderful library when I actually have time to do some pleasure reading. I'm going to miss going to the 10pm daily Mass with all my friends and hearing Fr. W's homilies. Won't miss Fr. G's bad singing, though. Speaking of singing, probably the biggest thing I'm going to miss is Chant Mass on Sundays and singing with the Schola. I have come home not only to the land of warm sun and blooming flowers; I have come home to the land of mediocre parish musicians and a pastor with extremely bad taste. He likes white gospel music. And this, and things in this vein, will be inflicted upon me for the next three months. I just know I'm going to be coming home from Mass, opening up my Graduale, and very badly sightreading the proper chants every Sunday. I begin to wonder what the music is like at the Tridentine Mass they have up the road on first and third Sundays. Stodgy old hymns borrowed and imitated from the Lutherans and Anglicans would be much preferable to the OCP (and worse!) stuff they do here. Or maybe I'll just have to get a job as a cantor and pick my own music. (I'm a girl--I suppose "cantor" ought to say "cantrix" but that sounds funny because we hardly every bother with those things in English.)

I think I can handle it. I handled it just fine for the 17 years before I started singing chant. It's just that I now know that there exists sublime music to make the Liturgy rich and beautiful and pleasing to the ears of Our Lord. Once you start down the road of loving chant and the works of Palestrina, Victoria, and Tallis, well, I don't think you can really turn back. I don't want to turn back. I want to envelop myself in the music of the ancient and medieval and renaissance Church, and toss out almost everything composed in the past 35 years, but the past 35 years is what I'm going to have to live with. Most of the teenagers I've known don't want to go to Mass because they think it's boring. I'm practically pleading, "Mom, please don't make me go to Mass! The music hurts my ears!" But the Mass doesn't stop being the Mass because the music is less than sublime. It's no less transcendent in substance simply because it's not transcendant in appearance. So I'll go and try to ignore the music, even though I'll be singing it. Ugh. There's no way I'll be able to get away with not singing in the choir. It's just too bad I have absolutely no influence with the director.

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