Can I Get an Amen?
I said in a previous post that I had attended a church service in order to obtain a spiritual connection and a deeper understanding of my inner meaning. Although this may very well be true I realized today that I really just enjoy singing hymns. I am a full time slave to the man and at the end of each week I enjoy the slight release I get within the pages of a hymnal. I enjoy a few verses of the Lord of the Dance or perhaps a few bars of Eagle’s Wings. I like to let loose and sway a bit in my pew as well and if I am particularly feisty I might even close my eyes to truly feel the connection with the music. I may not be a great singer, but what Catholic is? I have many memories growing up attending a variety of Catholic churches and there was nary a strong soloist in sight. But people would sing and it didn’t matter how you sounded.
You see it wasn’t how the song was delivered, but what it was about that mattered. The past few times I have attended mass in Florida, however I have been conflicted and muddled. I am not truly sure what the hymns are about anymore. First of all, half of them are in Spanish, which is nice, but I have a hard time anticipating how each word flows as I can barely say my name in Spanish, never mind bust out in tune with it. The other problem is that there is too much of a focus on the speaking portion of mass and too little of a focus on the singing portion, with exception to the part when the “Our Father” is sung to no apparent tune while hand holding. There I think there could be no focus on singing and more of a focus on independent mumbling.
I mean everyone gets the mass; as it is fairly consistent. The main variables are the Sermon and the Hymns. But recently all we have been singing is a few rounds of Alleluia and this poorly written and inevitably equivalently delivered song entitled “Muerte”. I don’t know if the choir is tight on rehearsal time or if perhaps a few members left them high and dry, but I desire a bit more variety in my hymnal line-up and I am pretty sure I am not alone. A week or so ago I saw two children singing and clapping their tiny hands at the airport and they were singing with brio “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, AMEN”. It was inspiring. These kids were jazzed up! Wherever they had been that Sunday morning had been so zestful that the word of the Lord inspired two 5 or 6 year olds to re-enact their experience hours later in the confines of a dismal airport terminal. We need that kind of inspiration instilled within our own house of worship. Perhaps we can employ some sort of church consultant to explore our organizational structure and determine an appropriate playlist for future masses because if something doesn’t change I am ready to move to a land where the hymns are louder, more inspiring, and varied.