Thursday, February 21, 2019

Catholic instruments

THESE must be out of tune.

Whatever it is you’re setting up before mass, it has to be slightly out of tune. Whether it’s that old piano that’s got more cobwebs than peak Halloween season decor or that old acoustic guitar with strings that could pass as a Steven Seagal murder weapon—these instruments have to possess that slight imperfection. It’s not Catholic Church music enough if the musical instruments, house speakers and general multimedia equipment haven’t taken the vow of poverty.

And since the guitarist is usually male, make sure the choir is an all-women’s group. The unit’s average age should at least be 55, but still young enough to throw in a bit of Hillsong Worship in the communion playlist. If somebody suggests a track from Young and Free, talk to her and lovingly remind her to check her heart, that she may purge it of any worldly desire. Don Moen is always welcome suggestion.

And speaking of suggestions, encourage the priest to sing the bass parts of a song—and just the melody, as much as possible. One man should do a song’s harmony wonders. He has the loudest microphone anyway, second only to vocal mic assigned to the lady in charge of the Powerpoint slides for lyric projection. Where would the assembly be without her direction, visually and vocally. Thanks to her, church-goers are sure to sing the grand “Amen” impeccably without missing a syllable. Thanks to what she does for us, we not only get to sing the old songs perfectly but also learn more about the progress of second collections and hopefully, very soon, the Oratio Imperata.

Repeat this process several times daily for a year, except when the Sinulog is right around the corner. Bring a white handkerchief with you. Wait for the signal. You’ll know what to do.

Scriptures say that God looks at the heart of His servant. And the Scriptures also say that men are made in the “image and likeness of God.” If your heart, mind, soul and body are in line with God’s plan, there’s no such thing as an out-of-tune act. You are the instrument. I am an instrument. We are all instruments. You can try and arrange the music, lights and sounds of worship like that of a Coldplay concert or Ultra Music Festival. Still, the same rules apply.

Okay. Maybe we can tell the one singing the Responsorial Psalm to minimize her vibrato. She’s got the third loudest microphone in the venue.


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