Sunday, May 27, 2012

IN THE HEAT...

...of a sizzling Sunday, I travelled home from a family gathering in the West Country. Stopped off for Mass in a church I will refrain from naming-and-shaming because it had quite the silliest and most ghastly music I have heard at Mass for a long time: a thumpy-thump piano and a truly dreadful choir of middle-aged ladies with microphones, and they sang...I am not making this up and only wish I were - "Shine, Jesus Shine" and a lady in front of me started to clap and sway while her two teenage sons squirmed with horror. THIS IS THE WAY TO STOP PEOPLE GOING TO MASS. Ugh, ugh. And earlier we'd had a silly thump-thump song at Communion and another similar horror at the Offertory. The priest, seemingly oblivious, celebrated Mass with quiet dignity amid this rubbish, the words of the Liturgy serenely sane in the midst of the mess. But the liturgy seemed lost in the drivel: the ladies with microphones stood at one side facing us as if performing at an old-fashioned glee-club, with undertones of Joyce Grenfell. As soon as I could, I fled.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shine Jesus Shine? You mean the final hymn at the first Mass celebrated by the Ordinariate at Precious Blood, London Bridge? Seriously...

EFpastor emeritus said...

And a leading chorister was probably a religious sister now retired from teaching in a kindergarten, though she continues to propagate her notions of liturgy derived from some priest in diocesan Catechetical department who has now departed from active ministry!

AJ said...

thumpy-thump piano and a truly dreadful choir of middle-aged ladies with microphones, and they sang...I am not making this up and only wish I were - "Shine, Jesus Shine" and a lady in front of me started to clap and sway while her two teenage sons squirmed with horror. THIS IS THE WAY TO STOP PEOPLE GOING TO MASS.

Unfortunately, this is normal. In my parish anyway. I read with longing and a tinge of sadness about the beautiful masses you often describe.

But many seventies generation choirs and priests think badly accompanied renditions of "Shine Jesus Shine" are what young people like me want. We don't!

Thanks for your blog.

Patricius said...

Can anyone name the prelate who said on hearing "Shine Jesus! Shine", "why should anyone want to polish Jesus?

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, and have admired your writings since we met in Colchester - um - probably 16 years ago - but I'm really surprised to find you writing that this is the way to stop people going to Mass.
There are many places in the UK now where we are only too thankful that there is a Mass to go to, and putting up with poor music is the least of our worries about the future

John the organist said...

Played and led well good old Shine Jesus Shine can be Ok but in moderation. Sounds like those ladies need some training,,,, SSG maybe???

Terry said...

You should name the church involved. If only to help the poor priest who has to put up with the nonsense everyday but is too polite to tell those old biddies that the 60s has already passed them by.

Clearly Salmon said...

You have made me laugh, Joanna! I would not appreciate having to listen to this for the duration of the Mass, but your description is just hilarious!!

Anonymous said...

You will now perhaps understand why the vast majority of Anglicans are staying put, despite everything in their own church. The problems they have do not generally include dire music!

pattif said...

Surely 'Shine, Jesus, Shine' should be reserved for the Feast of the Transfiguration?