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The New Hymn Verse

Tales of the Musician

This was my first sunday playing for Mass without anyone telling me what I needed to do or how I needed to play. I was confident but I was also scared out of my wits. I just completed Prelude. waiting… waiting… Finally the announcement was made that we will be singing  “Lift High the Cross” for the gathering song as the procession enters the room.

Confidently I raised my hands to the keys of the Yamaha piano and played the first notes of the intro. As we started into the refrain before the first verse I started thinking to myself; “Okay, this isn’t going so bad, I can relax and enjoy the music as the cantors sing” The procession disperses and the priest is sitting down waiting for us to finish up the song right as we are getting to the end of the 4th [and final] verse.

Upon realizing that I didn’t notice of we were to actually end the singing or not and failing to notice the sign given from the cantors to end the song. I started to logically think to myself that we were going to keep going. We ended the 4th verse and the cantors started to turn to each other and then to the pastor thinking they were done, until I started in on the non-existant 5th verse.

Normally when we finish the song but still need to keep singing we will just revert back to the first verse of the hymn. Thankfully that’s what they did they quickly gathered their wits about them and started to re-sing the first verse. Thinking things were normal the Pastor and congregation started to sing the first verse over again.

I was trained that when you reach the end of the page you end the song. However, this particular hymn had the refrain at the top of the page. Now that I’m freaking out and blundering all over the place I default back to my original training so at the end of the page I stopped playing but the congregation, cantors, and pastor kept singing through the final refrain. After realizing that (about two bars into the refrain) I started playing again.

Redder then a ripe tomato I complete the song and we continued on with Mass as written.