Arrived just fine in D.C. yesterday. In fact, everything went swimmingly until I drove into Georgetown. When coming into D.C. proper from the northwest, it's hard to know just how best to do so. So I came in Clara Barton Parkway, which deposited me on M Street. It took me quite awhile just to get from there to Rhode Island. Next time, I'll go the George Washington Parkway to I-395.
So I went from an early arrival to a barely-on-time arrival; oh well.
Very pleasant session with a group of priests reviewing our parts to chant. (Here's a revelation about how Mass goes when you use really good music, not necessarily chant and polyphony--the priest needn't work so hard. Such was my experience, when I offered Mass for this group last year. Doesn't that sound like "full active and conscious participation?) Also, when you really look at chant, you can see that the designers knew for whom they were designing it! People who may not be musical experts. The difficulty of chant is the shift to a different way of doing things, but once there, it becomes rather easy.
This morning I really slept late, and I had morning prayer and breakfast on my own. I skipped the polyphony choir, for two reasons: I really am not going to be taking any part in polyphony any time soon, plus I needed to do some business. No wireless in the dorm where I'm staying, so I'm connecting via the student center's wi-fi. Have to say, seems slow, and this is summer. But free to me...
The good news here is the response to this event: 140 attendees, which is twice last year's; and at least that many wanted to come, but couldn't due to limit on accommodations. Realize many who came last year weren't going to come this year (which is good; this needs to be more than a club). The folks who attend here are ordinary folks, almost all laity -- indeed, the reaction I keep getting is, "wow, a priest came!" This is not a clerical thing. Truth is, the clergy are going to be some of the major roadblocks, for reasons I explain deep in the last post.
To all you laity pursuing this: keep going, be polite but persistent: your pastors will, in time, find it easier to give you some of what you want than to fight you, and almost all pastors are happy when anyone is doing something, on their own, that doesn't need their constant attention -- they usually will just let you alone, and they will, if they aren't totally hidebound in their own views, give you some opportunities. "Something for everyone."