Monday, April 09, 2007

Liturgists, Musicians, Lectors Flood Rehab Post-Easter Masses

Louisville, KY: "The joy of the resurrection renews the entire world," says the Easter communion prayer. But more than a few churchworkers apparently crashed and burned after the last Sunday mass at Easter.

"Yes, I'm joyful, (expletive deleted), but my voice cracked on that high F sharp during the Alleluia, and the altos were off during the offertory, and the G handbell," explained red-eyed liturgist, Anne O'Reilly, "was just missing! And the piece was in that key!" She began to weep bitterly.

A lector, who declined to be named, said "After Thursday night, the reading of John's Passion Friday, and then seven different readings Saturday, they asked me to come back Sunday morning. But I woke up hoarse. I got up to the microphone and just coughed for four minutes. I'll never live this down. I'm looking into Carthusian monasteries right now, just for the vow of silence."

Organist Michael Bianci was another victim. "I love the Triduum and Easter Sunday masses, I truly do. But after practicing this intricate music for weeks, and having to play for 10 hours in three and a half days, I've developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome. I think I want to learn a new instrument. Maybe the recorder. Or the harmonica." He walked away, humming Stevie Wonder's "You are the sunshine of my life."

Most checked into St. Anxiete's Rehab for overworked churchworkers Sunday night citing "exhaustion." In-take doctors noted no drugs were involved. "But it's definitely a flood," noted a St. Anxiete's public relations officer. "We haven't seen anything like this since...well, last Easter."

"It's a delicate time," added Fr. Brendan Smith, Ph.D., head psychologist of the Churchworkers ward. "Those churchworkers suffering from Post Easter Stress Disorder, or PESD, know within themselves that Easter continues for 50 days. And with First Communions around the corner...well, it puts a few people around the bend," he said.

Treatment can be difficult, said Fr. Smith. "It all involves giving oneself over to the joy of God, despite human failings. But many don't want help. They come in here looking for the latest pop singers, wanting to teach them how to really sing. They have to accept they are human beings, and leave the impossible to God," he said.

St. Anxiete is being open about the reality of PESD this year in order to promote one solution: National Hug A Liturgist Day. "A note of appreciation would be nice. They are all exhausted today, and liturgy may be for the greater glory of God, but a friendly note from the Body of Christ would go a long way. Greet them with a hug and offer some chicken noodle soup," said Fr. Smith.

--I.C.

16 comments:

Kat said...

What is sad is I know that feeling.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Kat--me too. My "humor" often is rooted in too much reality....

Ray from MN said...

Just as an "attendee", I know that feeling.

But I question the need for "Hug a Liturgist" Day. They make a lot of their own work by deciding to make changes in the perfectly satisfactory 500 year old Tridentine Manual.

Welcome back, IC!

The big question is, how did you get by without a "Confirmation Name?"

Front Pew Crew Mama said...

Let us not forget about all the exhausted mothers (myself included) who have spent the last week quieting young children who impatiently ask questions like, "Is it almost over yet?" and older children with the impertinence to ask things like, "If Jesus rose from the dead nearly 2000 years ago, why do we still have to wait?"

I'd like to check into the Spa/Rehab myself, but think it may be too late at this point. ;)

Athanasius contra mundo said...

LOL. I can just see the lectors and choir directors cracking under the pressure of the Triduum.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Ray--doing the Tridentine rite does not make it less exhausting!

Well, the bishop came up to me when I was confirmed (20+ years ago) and asked, "what is your confirmation name?" Since we had been told in our classes that was an outmoded practice (I think it IS optional, but geez), I didn't choose one. On the spot and a little intimidated (holy cow! is he not going to confirm me now?) I stuttered my real name first name, which is not exactly "a confirmation name". He looked at me, shrugged, and anointed me. Sigh.

The Ironic Catholic said...

front pew crew mama--I feel your pain. Really.

CMinor said...

I think my DH could have mustered a Lennon-eque "Oi've gawt blisters on my fingers!" by the time he'd wrapped up his last Mass this weekend.

I know, if we'd just go back to Tridentine and give up the guitar masses, this wouldn't be a problem.

Sigh.

Melody said...

Thanks OP, I could really relate as a choir member. I just emailed it to our choir, director, and our poor poor organist/pianist, who does EVERY mass because she's our only one.

CT said...

Easter Monday is also the day when you'll never be able to find a priest or a sacristan near a church! :)

Joan said...

I remember this feeling so well from my years as a guitarist and lector. Eastertime was always the most exhausting and required the most rehearsals. Yet I think that's why Easter is still my favorite holiday.

I don't have a regular parish now, but I'm feeling the pull to go back to volunteering.

angelmeg said...

I beg to differ with ct, Three priests were at the Dyngus day meal held at our local Church. Of course it was their parish but they were there. They even had daily Mass and morning and evening prayer ( those darn Dominicans, who can stop them from praying?)

Sanctus Belle said...

I'm not a music director or organist, but just being a lil ol' alto in the choir has got me worn out!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

LOL!

front pew crew mama: LOL! Great handle by the way.

Jen said...

I feel your pain!! I am still recovering from Holy Saturday! I was cantor for the mass and on Good Friday I woke up with dry throat. It turned into a ripe recipe for this congested cantor. My lungs rattled, my throat swollen, my raw nose stuffed with gunk, and my numb head pounding. To top it off, our priest changed the order of the service so all the readings were done in the dark (by candlelight) and the blessing of the fire was done right before the gospel. When the church lights were finally turned on, the one nearest to the musicians in the choir loft did not turn on. I couldn't read half the music on my stand! It didn't help that my eyes weren't adjusting to the light fast enough (previously, we had all the readings in light, so it was no big deal). I have to say I made up a couple of names when I sang the Litany of the Saints. Oh, well. We are there to praise God and offer our gifts, talents, and voices. God knows our sufferings and our intentions. He forgives our iniquities.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Jen--you made up a couple of saints names--that's perfect!!! LOL. Thanks for sharing. Rest!