For church musicians, it’s the busiest week of the year. My life this week isn’t unlike many of my colleagues, except perhaps that in addition to preparing music for four different churches, I also am the parish administrator in another — and have the responsibility of typing, then duplicating four different 20+ page bulletins. (P.S. Palm Sunday’s bulletin had 28 pages, which included the Passion Reading, and Easter Day’s bulletin has 24 pages!)
Click here for a story, published two years ago, about 89-year-old Kansas organist Mary Steinlage who had been a church organist for 64 years.
“. . .as she approaches her 90th birthday on April 11, Steinlage is gearing up for another round of Holy Week services and Masses, which will begin Thursday night, continue with Holy Saturday and conclude on Easter Sunday.
“You’ve got to be on the ball,” said Steinlage, 89. “That’s as simple as I can put it.”
“From 1949 on, I’ve been the organist,” she said. “There was no one else who could play.”
I thought I’d share some of the comments from the Facebook Organists’ Association when someone wrote: “You know it’s Holy Week when . . .” and I have added my own thoughts.
“You’re sleeping in the car outside the church.” (We used to take sleeping bags and sleep in the Board Room!)
“You haven’t had time for laundry so you are wearing three-day-old socks.” (No time for laundry this week!)
“You ask the church secretary, ‘Anything going on this week?’ and she throws a stapler at you.” (Thank goodness, my copier folds AND staples!)
“Everyone wants you to come for Easter dinner after church and you would rather go home and sleep!” (Yeah, but I’m hosting the Easter dinner! It’s what Carl would have done.)
“I love playing on a Sunday — and Holy Week and Easter — very trying but very emotional — but I would not miss it for the world!” (Better than the alternative, though — when last year Carl and I missed the entire Holy Week and Easter as he was bedridden, suffering the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.)