Archive | January, 2013

Educating Masses

23 Jan

This afternoon marked my favorite yearly children’s choir rehearsal.

Not because the Schola Cantorum just returned from their annual trip to Concordia Theological Seminary where they blew the roof off Kramer chapel with a splendid Trinitarian descant, a reformation era hymn setting, and rock-solid chanting.

Not because they were still bubbling with excitement and couldn’t wait to both tell their younger vocal counterparts of the joys that await them on future trips to Fort Wayne, and demonstrate the music they accomplished in just two rehearsals.

I heart childrens choirs

Not because they moaned in disappointment when they found out it was time to hand in their music and that they couldn’t take it home as a souvenir.

Not because they were shocked to find out that not everyone has been singing Luther’s creedal hymn “We All Believe in One True God” by heart since birth.

Not because they got to see the OSLC funeral pall for the first time and immediately made the connection between it and the robe of righteousness we receive in our Baptism.

Not because they immediately glommed on to “Preach You the Word” and connected the text to their sneak peak of the amazing Sower Triptych by Edward Riojas to be dedicated at the seminary tomorrow.

And not because when I told them they were a Liturgical Choir they innocently asked, “What other kind of choir could there be?

Don’t get me wrong, all these things were great.  But the real reason this time of year is my favorite is because I sent these young choristers home knowing that sooner or later they’ll have a conversation with their parents that will, I imagine, go something like this:

Parent:  (Sweating profusely) Beloved Jr. High offspring of mine, do you have any questions about sex?
Schola Cantorum Member:  No, Dad/Mom.
Parent: (somewhat relieved, but bewildered)  Really?  No questions at all?
Schola Cantorum Member:  Nope, Mrs. Roberts explained it all.
Parent:  (with understandable anxiety) Mrs. Roberts?  Your choir director?  What exactly did she tell you?
Schola Cantorum Member:  That it’s roughly 60 days before Easter.

Yes, today was the rehearsal where I handed out propers for Sexagesima.

Pre-lent.  It will humble you every time.

Eggs Hard-Boiling on an Open Fire

17 Jan

In an effort to get around my Christmas Music Ban the boys have employed selective substitution and pre-celebratory techniques just like the good commercialized Americans they are.  Here’s a sampling:

  • Rockin’ around the Easter basket.
  • Joy to the world, the Lord is ris’n!

and my personal favorite:

  • Rudolph the Easter Bunny, ate the snowman’s carrot nose.

A Decree from Mother Disgusted

11 Jan

Yes, this is a shameless reposting from last year, but it’s necessary.  Please change all dates to make it applicable for the current Year of Our Lord 2013.  And although I acknowledge that it is still both winter and Epiphany the ban this year includes all versions of “Walking in Your Winter Underwear” and “We Three Kings of Orient Are,”  especially those that mention the smoking of a rubber cigar.

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I know what's going through your head, and it isn't "Gloria in excelsis Deo."  Well, maybe it is.

I know what’s going through your head, and it isn’t “Gloria in excelsis Deo.” Well, maybe it is.

On this, the 17th day of January in the year 2012 it has become necessary to remind the inhabitants of our humble abode of certain disallowances.

This annual ban, who’s humble beginnings date back to the unfortunate summer reading of “Junie B. Jones:  Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! P.S. So Does May” will be reinstated every January until the youth of the family are able to control their holiday ear-worms.

The aforementioned ban took effect following the 12 Days of Christmas, on January 6, 2012, but due to an increasingly large number of infractions a formal reminder of the ban must be put in place.

The ban includes, but is not limited to:

  • all singing, humming, screaming, and rhythmic inference of Jingle Bells.
  • spontaneous performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas.
    —This portion of the ban encompasses all Christmas carols contained in the Straight No Chaser arrangement of the counting song.
    —Please note that while technically a Hanukkah tune, Dreidel,  Dreidel, Dreidel will not be tolerated in its original form, or the more Christmasfied “Cradle, Cradle, Cradle . . .” version which has received so much popularity in our home.
    —The singing of Rains Down in Africa will be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • the blaring Latin refrain “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.”  However, a gentle, head voice singing of this most sacred of angels’ songs will be tolerated and possibly even encouraged, especially on Sunday mornings, and usually in English.
  • any audible reference to  seasonably inappropriate music as determined by persons over the age of 18.

The above ban will be lifted on the first Sunday of Advent, December 1st, or with the arrival of a large tree inside our walls.  The exact date will be determined by the generosity and patience of the parentage of the household.

All attempts to request an early lifting, or violations of said ban could result in the extension of the prohibition until the official start of the Christmas Season.  The Official Christmas Season begins at Midnight December 25, 2012.