I had a conversation with a lady at the church a week or two ago, and she gave me some negative feedback about something that I have been doing for music. She began by asking if anyone else had commented on this thing, and I told her that I had received many positive and glowing comments. She then proceeded to "go off" on how she does not appreciate this thing, and why do we have to go back to latin, etc.
I mean, she did it in a rather nice way, but, when all was said, I knew that she was just venting. I could have responded at any given point to all of her accusations, but that point of the whole thing was that I knew that was not what she needed. She just needed to vent! I don't believe it would have helped the situation for me to try and respond to her criticisms. What are we supposed to do as church musicians trying to educate congregations who won't listen?! But that brings me to another point. It's totally a generational thing...
...I read an interesting article in TIME mag soon after the motu proprio, and it was a girl talking about how she (as the younger generation,) wants the Mass in Latin because she is sick of being told what to do and how to vote, etc, and hearing priests' personal opinions at the novus ordo Mass.
I would agree...
I'm sick of hearing priests insert their own improvisations (political or not, holy or banal,) right into the middle of the Eucharistic prayer.
Guess what? no one can do that if the Mass is in Latin cuz hardly anyone conversationaly knows latin! And even if the priest did, I don't know Latin well enough to know what he is saying, and I am sick of hearing drivel that isn't even part of our poor translation! (made-up Mem. accl's, "keep in mind...", even just hearing the thoughts and reflections of the priest at 4 or 5 different times during the Liturgy
[let's leave it to one, the sermon, ok? can I just pray how I want to for the rest of the Mass?] although perhaps occasional reminders are beneficial, ok, that's a whole new post, let's leave it at that.)
On a different note, I had an interesting conversation over the weekend with a priest, in which, as we were having the conversation I realized (if I had not known this before...) that I will never work for this particular priest.
The point of the conversation that struck me was how differently we viewed the relationship between priest and music director. In his view, he would hire the music director to...do what he tells them to do.
contrast that with my current situation (and, as I have conversations like this one, I realize how priceless it is!) in which my priest hired me to MAKE the musical decisions! I could count on one hand the number of times in over a year where he has come up to me and said, "you know, Mara, how about if you do this differently..." and I think I have almost always agreed.
In fact, I think a couple of times I have gone to him with a question, or even just looking for support if I make a particular decision, and he will say something like, "I trust your judgement. You decide on your own. This is what I hired you for!"