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When to stand up or sit down

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  • When to stand up or sit down



    There are many parts of a church service which require people to stand, but as organists, should we be doing this as well?</P>


    I'm sure that it all depends on where you are and if anyone can see you. At my church, the console is up in the chancel so most people from down in the nave can see me. I rarely stand up during a service for a prayer or creed or something, but yesterday I was at another church with a choir and felt I had to stand up more because I was surrounded by them, who were of course standing at the appropriate times.</P>


    What do you all do?</P>


    Jezza</P>

  • #2
    Re: When to stand up or sit down



    What an interesting topic.</p>

    First of all, the console at my Church is placed in a choir loft at the rear of the building.</p>

    I stand, sit and kneel when the congregation do. During the readings and homily, I will spend a few seconds at the beginning and at the end on my feet preparing the next few bits of music or clearing the music rack whilst everyone is sitting - but for about 99% of the time I'm sat down with the congregation and choir.
    </p>

    During the Eucharistic prayer, I kneel like everyone else. I know some organists sit through this, but I personally think it is disrespectful and think that everybody should be kneeling except the priest - as a sign of respect. Similarly, there are a 10 seconds or so just at the beginning and at the end when I have to set up the next bit of music/clear the music rack, but then once I've finished I will kneel immediately. We don't have kneelers in the loft so I just kneel on the floor (its clean anyway)</p>

    For the bits like the Creed I'll stand, unless its being accompanied of course.
    </p>

    I'm not too fussed about what others do during prayers etc. but I do think that at the most important part of the mass (during the Eucharistic Prayer) everyone should be kneeling, unless they find it difficult to kneel due to age or illness, in which case I think the Dear Lord can forgive us for sitting. Its a respect thing really.
    </p>

    Having no kneeler is not an excuse either, there should be not a problem with kneeling on the floor. A piece of paper can be placed on the floor and knelt on if the floor is dirty. We don't go to Church to be comfortable.</p>

    Thats my thoughts anyway.
    </p>
    1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
    Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: When to stand up or sit down



      Nullogik: I much appreciate your orthodoxy and sense of respect and liturgical decorum. As a practical matter, our organists and choirs just do "whatever" while trying to remain as respectful as possible. My brother is a licensed RC liturgist and the Liturgy Director of our church. I cannot remember the exact words, but he has advised that ministers, including lectors, organists, music directors, choir members, eucharistic ministers, altar servers, ushers, etc., are basically exempt from the rubrical liturgical postures. Our parish has no literal guidelines in this regard and we seem to maintain an acceptable level of respect and dignity. I usually play from the chancel console and spend most of the Mass sitting. We have one priest who believes that "too much moving around" is more distracting and disrespectful than anything. I stand for the Gospel and go sit in a nearby pew for the homily. There is too much music during the Eucharistic Prayer for me to be jumping on an off the bench, etc. I make every effort to keep my motions graceful and dignified and maintain a respectful posture.</P>


      One thing that choirs should not do is immediately start socializing in place (even up in a loft) the moment that Mass is over. Take it outside, people . . .</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: When to stand up or sit down



        I must pass behind the chancel (via the choir room) in order to transition to the piano. This happens a lot more frequently (and sometimes quickly) than I'd like.</P>


        The congregation is accustomed to seeing me leave the roomthroughout the service,so whenever Ido not have to play for along period of time Iretreat tothe choir room, where I can hear everything via a sound system. It also helps as I often prefer to stand the entire time.</P>


        When I am at the console (or at the piano) I do not stand but will remain seated.Theconsole is visible to just about everyone in the room - it is perhaps a little unnerving to new organists. I suppose everyone is accustomed to whatever it is I need todo. [:)]</P>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: When to stand up or sit down

          We have one priest who believes that "too much moving around" is more distracting and disrespectful than anything.
          I feel I can relate to that. I have rarely seen organists get away from the console during services. If (and there seldom are) directors for a choir, they just stand when directing and otherwise sit with the choir. I don't think there are any churches left where kneeling is practised these days around here. People (and choir) just stand and sit when applicable, but when depends a lot from church to church.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: When to stand up or sit down

            Well, I'm not sure how the whole standing with the congregation during hymns thing would work,especially with the expression shoes and the pedals... I know that at the CS church in Cleveland Heights, the organist usually leaves the room to retreat to the musician's lounge, which is actually not much of a lounge, just two or three chairs, a filing cabinet and a table with a clock and a lamp. This is really only during the readings, which is most of the service for Christian Scientists. The organist and the soloist manage this at that church because the lounge is right across a very narrow hallway behind the stage and lecturer's desk.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: When to stand up or sit down



              Our organist pretty much stays seated at the organ (or piano) during most of the service, with the exception of the sermon--then she takes a seat near the organ below and in front of the choir. She is often sitting beside her husband (the Music Director) at that time. She also takes a seatif some extended time when her services are not required occurs (such as a musical selection she is not participating in, or a special presentation by a group). My church (UMC) does not do a lot of standing and sitting; kneeling happens only at the Communion rail. It is not even terribly common to stand for the reading of the Gospel (although I could be wrong about that because so few of our Scripture lessons seem to come from the Gospel). I really would like our services to be more "liturgical" and "high church" but ours are much more so than the typical southern Methodist service that I guess I should not complain. At least we usually have the Doxology and the Gloria Patri, there is usually one of the many Creeds from the Hymnal, and a single Scripture reading (generally one from the Lectionary that works with the sermon topic); we almost always say the Lord's Prayer. Our Communion services always follow the typical UMC pattern, somewhat abbreviated: we have the Sursum Corda, the Tersanctus (in English, of course), and the "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!". We take Communion by Intinction, but Methodists use Welch's grape juice instead of wine. (Technically, that makes it NOT "intinction", whch means "into alcohol", but who's watching?)</P>


              David</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: When to stand up or sit down



                I was in high school when I started playing music for mass. All students sat for the entire service, as the priest thought any bit of movement would give an opportunity for the kids to get rowdy. They did get up for communion. I also felt a bit silly sitting at the piano in full view of everyone, as there was no space left for me to sit anywhere else when the room was full.</p>

                When I started playing in church the question did come to mind. However, after attending mass where the pianist did sit, stand and kneel I felt it made the flow of the mass quite choppy. Especially during the Eucharistic prayer where the pianist would sometimes fumble from her knees to the bench, back to her knees, etc. Sometimes people would just recite the great amen because it seemed like there would be no music, and 5 seconds later the pianist would start playing it. I also found it quite distracting to see her moving with everyone else remaining relatively still.
                </p>

                In the church I am presently playing in, I sit for most of the mass. I do stand for the gospel. The organ is located near the altar, so I am in plain view of everyone. My view is that music ministers should whatever necessary in order to keep the music and the flow of the service in good order. </p>

                </p>

                A question to everyone: </p>

                does your choir kneel during the sung parts of the eucharistic prayer?
                </p>


                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: When to stand up or sit down



                  [quote user="Austin766"]I know that at the CS church in Cleveland Heights, the organist usually leaves the room to retreat to the musician's lounge, which is actually not much of a lounge, just two or three chairs, a filing cabinet and a table with a clock and a lamp. This is really only during the readings, which is most of the service for Christian Scientists. The organist and the soloist manage this at that church because the lounge is right across a very narrow hallway behind the stage and lecturer's desk.[/quote]</P>


                  I have found these little CS organist's lounges to be some of the most tranquil places on earth. [:)] Simple, quiet, calm. There is usually a little space heater/fan, which can be comforting.</P>


                  My favorite one is a tiny little room - it has a comfortablewingback chair, asmall bookcaseand an elegantlamp; if you leave the door open you have a nice view of the organ console, which is only a few steps away. The console isbelow stage level, sothe organist can enter and exit at will without seeing anyone in the congregation, or being seen by anyone (other than the readers and soloist). It is a little surreal to be so isolated, but there is that feeling of being in a cozy nest.</P>


                  That church is nearly 100 years old; another local CS was built fairly recently and has a much more contemporary feeling. Even so, this church has pretty much the same arrangement as the old one, only the (hidden) organ console is further down the hall from the organist's lounge. In this church the lounges are a bit largerand have windows;each lounge has its own restroom.</P>


                  Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent. [:S]</P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: When to stand up or sit down

                    I remain seated at the console for the whole thing, with the exception of communion if applicable when I'll join the rest of the congregation at the rail. I receive first so I can nip back and play asap.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: When to stand up or sit down

                      [quote user="MenchenStimme"]

                      There is too much music during the Eucharistic Prayer for me to be jumping on an off the bench, etc. I make every effort to keep my motions graceful and dignified and maintain a respectful posture.</p>


                      One thing that choirs should not do is immediately start socializing in place (even up in a loft) the moment that Mass is over. Take it outside, people . . .</p>

                      [/quote]</p>

                      Absolutely, MenchenStimme with regards to the Eucharistic Prayer. I agree that if there are several pieces of music that need to be played within a short duration then it is less of a distraction to others to simply remain on the organ bench. </p>

                      At our Church, we don't have any music during the Eucharistic prayer except the standard "Dying you destroyed our death etc." response which is sung unaccompanied by the choir and congregation (the choir sing this whilst kneeling), so I think there is no excuse not to kneel unless it is for health reasons.</p>

                      I'm just old fashioned when it comes to practices in Church, though I'm not old.
                      </p>

                      And again, we agree MS. Its very irritating when the last hymn has ended and the congregation AND choir start chatting. Its turns the whole thing into some kind of cattle market...very disrespectful. Surely, waiting a few seconds to leave the Church before starting a chit-chat isn't too much to ask for...and it also disturbs those who wish to remain in the Church after the service who are praying.
                      </p>
                      1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                      Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: When to stand up or sit down

                        The CS church I sub for once in awhile treats the musicians and guest readers like royalty. Each has their own separate lounge with bathrooms and really nice furniture. Indeed it is very surreal and tranquil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: When to stand up or sit down



                          For the most part, I remain at the organ console, especially if there are many things which I need to do and they happen close to each other in the service. </P>


                          During the sermon, I either leave the console and sit with my chancel choir, leave and join my junior choir, go to the bathroom, or visit my son in the Sunday School room and see how he's doing (he's 3 years, and the way I figure those days will never come back). </P>


                          During the prayers, I do close my eyes and join in quietly. </P>


                          If I'm at an Anglican or RC church where there is more sitting, standing, or kneeling to do, then I do participate unless I am busy getting ready for the next task at hand. </P>
                          <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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