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Category - "The Revd Jonathan Hagger":

The Lectionary, Music and Words: The Via Media

‘Mad Priest’ is not so mad after all
The Revd Jonathan Hagger may call himself mad, but he knows a hawk from a handsaw and (despite his tease) a tart from a Tartar. Maybe he is ‘but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly’ he seems to me to have the wisdom of Solomon himself.

As I read Kathryn Rose’s beautifully expressed piece on the point of view of the organist, I saw my own problems with ‘Drisella‘ in quite a different light. She may have been a tiresome woman (she was) but I do begin to see the situation from her standpoint.

Our not-so-mad priest identified in the comments on Kathryn Rose’s post that the problem was chiefly one of communication, together with a little good will.

… the ideal way to plan the music of a church is for the worship leader, organist (or whatever) and, if there is one, the leader of the choir, to come together to decide on the hymns. The worship leader is usually word orientated and meeting together allows a greater number of hymn texts to be used because the musicians will be able to suggest tunes that they and the congregation know when the set tune for a hymn is unknown or just plain bad. At these meetings the worship leader can explain the theme he or she wants to dominate the service (which may be different to the recommended theme). Then I believe it to be good manners for the worship leader to allow the musicians to choose any anthems etc…Both worship leaders and musicians must never lose sight of the fact that they are doing it for the congregation which, if they are not pleased, will not bother turning up again.

This dollop of common sense needs to be circulated to every parish church in the land, in my opinion.

Of course, knowing what the answer is is not the same as being able to apply it. But it is a start.

Thank-you, Jonathan.

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