A (long) day in the life of a church musician
Holy Trinity Church Huddersfield, Sunday 27 September 2019
I love my church.
A long day that started straight after the News from my radio alarm. Up, shaved dressed and breakfasted on a bowl of rice crispies in order to get to church at 9am in time to rehearse for the first of two services, a joint service at 10.00 replacing the 9.00 and 10.45 services featuring our link missionary Catherine Lee, followed at 4pm by a confirmation service with the Bishop of Huddersfield.
I was one of two people who was playing in both services, handy for me as I could leave the gear in place so there was no setting up to do in the afternoon. I was able to get home for 40 minutes to get something to eat before returning to rehearse the music for the second service.
The first service started late and with an apology. We were supposed to have started and finished with a hymn played on the organ, but no organist was there. In all the chaos in arranging the day no one had been asked to play. We ended up extending one song for the whole of the communion time and using the other song meant for communion in place of the final hymn. I also got the chance to play simple polyrhythms on the last song, playing in 2 to the bar with my left hand and 3 to the bar with my right.
Catherine was introduced at the beginning of the service and took the sermon spot. She had her camera with her, so I look forward to seeing them published on her blog. She has been attached to Holy Trinity since 1989 through CMS, The Church Missionary Society. She served CMS as a missionary in Tanzania and after that and up to the present time in Taiwan. She presented Vicar Mike, on behalf of our church, with a cross made from artillery shells which were rained down on a Taiwanese island by the Chinese authorities. The cross contains a letter P for peace. The transformation from a weapon of war to a symbol of peace is a representation of the transformation Jesus brings to lives.
We had the same format as far as music was concerned at both services, as he was the same person on keyboards for the contemporary songs. The difference being that the organist was present, so we got our opening and closing hymns were sung.
The confirmation itself was for seven of our church’s adults. It was great to see people visibly standing for what they believe. Heter they are with the bishop:
The talk was designed not just for the candidates but for all of us. It is not about us and them, the bishop told us. The readings, Jesus talking to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 and from Paul’s letter to Titus, talk about the human condition, we cannot point at others and blame it on them, it applies to us all. But Jesus did not leave us alone, but sent Jesus for us and empowers us by the Holy Spirit. What matters is that we live out our faith not just in church. Our response is that we live it outside the church 24/7.
I love my church.