Can you guess what this is? If you were at Immaculate Conception Church this morning you probably can, but I’m guessing everyone else is going to be puzzled.
It’s slate. A slate roof tile from the church, as a matter of fact. With a new roof being installed, some bright person thought that parishioners might be willing to donate to the roof fund in return for this little piece of history. My husband said that the minute he saw these sitting in the corner of the basement, where the fall craft fair was in full swing, he KNEW I was going to be thrilled.
And I was. I did make some other purchases but nothing could have delighted me more.
Just think–this tile was placed on the roof in 1886. Someone nailed it up there, and that someone is long dead. About seven generations have worshiped beneath it. Just think of the way the world was then and the way it is now, all the changes that have happened, while that tile stayed up there doing its job. If only it could talk.
It was pretty dirty, that’s for sure. I scrubbed it and put it through a cycle in the dishwasher, and now it’s all sparkly. It came with a cardboard print out of some of its history. I’m thinking I will mount that on the bottom of it and maybe put one of my best photos of the church on it, and turn it into art.
I wonder, when they put a new roof on the church in 2126, will there be parishioners who will cherish the ancient pieces of slate from 2012 and wonder about the people who worshiped beneath them?
photo of a picture taken last year in honor of the 125th anniversary of the church building
Filed under: Catholicism, Knoxville Tagged: Catholicism, Church, history
Y’all, sometimes I just have to get things off my chest. And I haven’t ranted about church music in a while. So, for those of you who like such things, enjoy this mini-rant.
I sang in the choir at the 7 p.m. Mass at Georgetown all four years. (We had Masses practically ’round the clock on Sunday, including a 30 minute one know as “[Father] Freeze’s Breeze” and a “last chance” one at 11:15 p.m.)
When I was a Freshman, the choir was student-led. So when we were taken over by the University’s choir director the following year, we chafed a bit under her direction. One of the things she did not like was our pianist’s habit of playing what she called “traveling music” at points where no taking was going on, like after the Offertory procession, for example. We liked the pretty music and did not appreciate her point: that there were times in the liturgy where silence is desirable.
Well, apparently the choir director at my parish doesn’t appreciate it either. Because he’s instituted a bizarre practice of singing TWO Offertory songs. As soon as we finish the first one, our cantor steals a quick look at the altar and if the preparation of the gifts is ongoing she quickly announces another song. Which we dutifully begin to sing.
But there isn’t time for two songs at the Offertory, not really. So one of two things happens. We don’t sing the whole song (and y’all already know how I feel about THAT), or Father stands there twiddling his thumbs and frankly looking impatient to get on with things already while we finish.
This singing serves no liturgical purpose. Especially since we never sing songs that are about offering our gifts or ourselves anyway. It’s filler, pure and simple. And why does the Mass demand filler? When you run out of Offertory song, there are the optional prayers and responses: “Blessed are You, Lord, God of all Creation … ” and “Blessed be God Forever.” (Did these get changed, I wonder? In our parish, I’ll never find out.) Then there are the quiet prayers as the priest washes his hands, which always fazcinated me as a child: “Lord, wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sins.”
Everyone knows how much I love to sing. Even when I can hardly stand the songs. But can’t we just have some quiet time to pray?
Filed under: Catholicism, music, rants Tagged: Catholicism, choir, church music, liturgical music, music, singing