Spare a thought this Christmas for church organists, forced to wrestle with innumerable books to accommodate the season’s musical requirements.
Here is a re-enactment of a particular highlight from this morning’s service (click for a larger version). From left to right, we have:
- Bible open at Isaiah 45, for the antiphon to the introit psalm.
- Wedged behind the Bible, the card with the psalm tones.
- LSB liturgy accompaniment, open at Psalm 19. Of course, I had to remember not to follow the pointing as printed, because the “first” verse actually consisted of verse 1 and the final clause of verse 4.
- LSB hymns accompaniment volume, being pressed into service to hold open…
- Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard (a good hymn book appallingly bound – simply will not stay open of its own accord), open at the tune for “As with gladness men of old” for use in a special setting of the Gloria Patri, to follow the psalm.
So all I had to do was finish playing the tune for “O come, O come, Emmanuel” for the Kyrie setting, turn to “As with gladness men of old” in readiness for the Gloria Patri, start playing the psalm tone, use the Bible for the antiphon, mentally re-point Psalm 19 as I played, then switch immediately over to the hymn book to play the Gloria Patri. At least I could then have a rest during the readings, before the next hymn.
Not shown: the two other books I had to use for other hymns (and liturgy) during the service.
(OK, some of the pain was self-inflicted. I could probably have played the hymn tune from the LSB itself. But I tend to prefer the A&M settings. Oh, and yes, I know that’s a Clavinova rather than an organ. Look, I’m working on it, right?)