Music of the Episcopal Mass

900 Words4 Pages
Music of the Episcopal Mass On Sunday, December 3 I attended the Solemn Mass at the Church of the Advent, in the North End. Now, you have to understand that I am religiously challenged, at best. I’ve been to my share of weddings and funerals, but growing up I averaged one regular church service every year or two. When I did go, it was either to Hardshell Baptist or Dunkard Bretheren services, with my father or mother’s side of the family, respectively. Both these denominations focus heavily on simplicity and egalitarianism. The churches are usually one room, wooden affairs with a simple lectern. The music draws heavily on the English folk tradition, and the service is delivered in a straightforward manner. Imagine my trepidation, then, when I walked into this church, with its high, vaulted ceilings and an enormous, emaciated, and slightly malicious-looking Christ figure suspended thirty feet among my head. As I came through the entrance, the prelude began. It sounded like nothing less than the soundtrack to a horror movie, as the slasher is about to leap out and dice an innocent schoolgirl. The organ wailed in threatening, building minor chords and did nothing to allay my trepidation. I quickly found a seat in the back of the room. Then, what did I behold, but a procession of similarly robed, somber looking men waving banners, crosses, and other crystal and gold implements above their heads. As the leader passed me he began swinging a golden canister about his head, and noxious fumes poured out. My eyes and throat burned, and I thought some sort of crazy cultists had gassed me. The moment passed, however, and I realized that they were the leaders of the church, and it was nothing but incense. After parading... ... middle of paper ... ...s in this class, and that’s great because that’s exactly what the choir and organ performed next. It was very upbeat and more happy-sounding than anything since the Offertory had been. The "Post-Communion Prayer" was accompanied by organ, as was the "Blessing and Dismissal." Everyone sang along with the Organ on the last hymn. Then, the organ played another slasher tune to mark the Postlude, and the cultish figures in robes made some more laps around the sanctuary and vanished out a side door. As they passed people started breaking for the door, before the organ had even stopped moaning. I stuck around until the final chords had been ground out and the candles had been extinguished, then I tried to gracefully leave, and was only mildly rude to the guy in a robe and a hat with a topknot standing outside who kept asking if I was going to come back next week.
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