Frabjous Times

28 September 2003

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Entrance — All People That On Earth Do Dwell
Responsorial — Psalm 19
Alleluia — John 17:17
Offertory — Blest Are They
Communion — I Am the Bread of Life
Recessional — Let There Be Peace On Earth
The tension began well before this our first in a string without our usual director, when the other Richard, the organist, decided we should scrap the orignal plan to sing City of God as the opening hymn, and instead substitute Old Hundredth, to the discomfort of some. We had a quick rehearsal and settled down somewhat by the time the Mass started. Richard played the intro and the first few chords of the new entrance hymn.

Then every light in the church went out, except for the candles and the hazy midday light coming through the windows. The organ and microphone were of course also kaput by the sudden power outage. But since we had already gotten enough momentum to get out of the starting gate, and since the procession was already partway into the church, we soldiered on for four verses, a capella. The blackout took out the neighborhood around the church too, at least, but that was all we knew.

And it was all a capella for us for the rest of the ceremony. I was a bit more nervous than usual when I went up for my Gospel Acclamation solo, but I just tried to belt the refrain and verse out in tune as best I could. Before the other hymns, we did a sort of little huddle to pick a starting note, since perfect pitch was a talent in short supply.

Those in attendance were unusually quiet out there in the gloom, maybe because the lack of light led to fewer distractions. Fr. Sam is one of those kinds of preachers who doesn't really need a PA system and he adapted his homily with ease to the circumstances.

I sneaked a peak at my Treo during Mass and saw that I still had coverage, so I knew the outage was not extensive enough to affect the whole region. And when I drove home to Dumont, within a few blocks I saw that there were lights on in the houses after all. Ah, good, now I was able to do the computer work at home I'd planned on for the afternoon.
Originally published: 2003/09/28 22:36:12