Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Technical run-through

I went to 'the Res' in Ely again this morning to celebrate their midweek Eucharist. I learned that the lady who read the first lesson last week returned home and had a stroke after the service. She and a friend were due to go visiting another who was housebound. The friend rang to give her arrival time and got no response, so she went to the house and was greeted by the lady at the door, evidently having trouble speaking. She was quickly whisked into hospital, and is now making what will be, hopefully, a good recovery.

The step-father and step-brother of the man whose funeral I'll be conducting here tomorrow turned up after the service to try out the CD they'd created from two downloaded tracks, with special pieces of music for the entrance and departure of his coffin. This has become common practice at the crematorium (where sadly only recorded music is now on offer), and in many parish churches, generally supplanting live organ music, except for hymns, if an organist is available. 

It is necessary to arrange a trial run, as often people make CDs of MP3 format music requiring a special kind of playback machine, or a computer. Churches have these installed, since most church electronic kit belongs to decades before MP3s were down-loadable. There's nothing worse than a technical disaster on the day, resulting in apologies and running repairs to the order of service. The wise parish insists on a technical run-through. This is also good for the mourners involved. Preparing the recorded music gives a few of the mourners something to do, something to contribute to the event.

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