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  • Catholic vs. Lutheran Organist

    Hi all!
    This is my first post here and I certainly hope I have put it in the right Spot!
    I currently play Organ at a (Lutheran) Missouri Synod Congregation.
    I have been wondering what (if any) the differences are for a Catholic Service compared to a Lutheran Service.
    I have been asked if I can fill in at a Catholic Church sometime and I have no clue what to even say.

    For the LCMS Congregation I am at currently we sing 3 (No Communion)/7 (Communion) Hymns.
    There is also the Liturgy with Confession, Gloria, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion Liturgy.
    And of course 15 Minutes of Prelude and 15 Minutes of Postlude.

    Thanks,
    Seserie

  • #2
    Seserie,

    First of all, welcome to the Forum. I hope this is only the beginning of your time with us.
    Originally posted by Seserie View Post
    I have been wondering what (if any) the differences are for a Catholic Service compared to a Lutheran Service.
    I have been asked if I can fill in at a Catholic Church sometime and I have no clue what to even say.
    As a teenager, I grew up in an American Baptist church, and ended up playing a Hammond for a traditional Air Force Chapel Catholic service in the 1970s, and my Freshman year of college, I ended up playing an Estey pipe organ for a Catholic Church near the college I attended in the 1980s. The leap for you from Lutheran to Catholic shouldn't be as far as the leap for me from Baptist to Catholic!

    Concerning music, I think they'll probably be happy just to find a competent musician for part of their services. Talk to the choir director and/or cantor (if there is one), or another person who is regularly a part of their service. Perhaps they can guide you. It used to be Catholic services were all the same, but in today's world, they vary from church to church as much as the Protestant denominations do. If the Lutherans are satisfied with your skills, I'm sure the Catholics will be.

    I do hope this helps somewhat, and welcome to the Forum.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Seserie View Post
      Hi all!
      This is my first post here and I certainly hope I have put it in the right Spot!
      I currently play Organ at a (Lutheran) Missouri Synod Congregation.
      I have been wondering what (if any) the differences are for a Catholic Service compared to a Lutheran Service.
      I have been asked if I can fill in at a Catholic Church sometime and I have no clue what to even say.

      For the LCMS Congregation I am at currently we sing 3 (No Communion)/7 (Communion) Hymns.
      There is also the Liturgy with Confession, Gloria, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion Liturgy.
      And of course 15 Minutes of Prelude and 15 Minutes of Postlude.

      Thanks,
      Seserie
      It really depends on how "high" of an LCMS liturgical order you're used to, and correspondingly how "high" the particular Catholic parish does their liturgy- in terms of sung responses, Kyrie, acclamations, and the various parts of the communion liturgy. In terms of basic layout and format, the Lutheran service and the Catholic service are relatively similar overall, so if you're used to singing all of those liturgical parts at the LCMS church, you'll be in the ballpark as far as layout. Obviously the liturgical music and setting itself will be different.

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      • #4
        I grew up with the Lutheran church of Bavaria and now play in the protestant church of Hesse-Nassau and my husband, who grew up with the Hessian "branch", always jokes that Lutheran-Bavarian was very Catholic compared to Hesse-Nassau
        Recently I played a Catholic service and was surprised how much of the liturgy I actually recognised. I'd say that it is possible to learn the "other" liturgy and I know a Catholic organist who has been playing protestant services for ages, so why not get in touch with the other church's regular organist or attend a service to find out more?

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        • #5
          After seeing the title of this post, I was hoping for a viseo of a boxing match or perhaps an ultimate fight between two organists. Now that would be something to see!

          Johann Sebastian Bach

          (at Home) Conn 645 Theater Deluxe
          (at Church) 1836 E. & G.G. Hook Bros, Opus 26

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ArthurCambronne View Post
            After seeing the title of this post, I was hoping for a viseo of a boxing match or perhaps an ultimate fight between two organists. Now that would be something to see!
            Anything you can play, I can play louder/faster?

            David

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            • #7
              I have played for at least 6 Lutheran churches (both ELCA and LCMS) and a similar number of Episcopal, including one that was High liturgy (complete with incense), but only one Catholic church. The Lutheran and Episcopal services are easy for me to follow even with all the variations between churches; they all utilize the hymnal and/or Book of Common Prayer as the foundation for the service. They also tend to have a lot of information in the bulletins. However, the Catholic church had a very brief bulletin and no other written background for the liturgy. I played several for several services and still relied on the music director to cue me for both liturgical responses and when hymns should start. I found it very frustrating. The components of the liturgy were similar and familiar, but I had no context for the details of how it fit together.

              I think the organist with the bigger Trumpet en Chamade might win in the organist mano a mano.

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              • #8
                As a Lutheran .... former Cathloic..... I can tell you that the Lutheran as well as the Protestant churches in general, PAY is a LOT better ....Lol.....!
                Roland Atelier AT60R, Hammond Xk1,
                Kurzweil SP88X, Ensoniq SD 1
                Old stuff: Hammond T 212, Hammond X5, Hammond Xb2, Arp Quartet, Roland Juno 60, Leslie 147

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jserrent View Post
                  As a Lutheran .... former Cathloic..... I can tell you that the Lutheran as well as the Protestant churches in general, PAY is a LOT better ....Lol.....!
                  Depends which Lutheran synod you're playing for. I've noticed Presbyterian churches pay really well around here. . .
                  Home: '57 Hammond B3; '60 Hammond A-100; '64 Leslie 251; '77 Leslie 330; '80 Leslie 770; '64 Hammond PR-40
                  Church: '81 Zimmer 26-rank mechanical pipe organ

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                  • #10
                    I work in a "high" Missouri Synod Lutheran church in which virtually everything that can be sung is sung, in addition to 5 hymns, whether in the modern or traditional language services (we use both, changing seasonally). Previously I spent many years in Episcopal churches including one Anglo-Catholic type, and found the transition to the Lutheran Divine Service easy. I don't have any problems with the modern Catholic liturgy either, on the occasions when I've filled in for a mass or two. I only object to their music, which in parishes around here is execrable (liturgical music as well as hymns). Locally at least, they don't appear to care whether they have music or not. As far as pay is concerned, I do pretty well for a part-time position with no formal choir, compared to other liturgical and non-liturgical churches. I can't make the Presbyterian comparison because Maine is much more a Congregationalist state, but I would say at least locally that the Episcopals are close to my level, followed by the Congregationalists and Methodists. The Baptists around here don't pay much, and neither do the Catholics when you consider the number of Masses per weekend and the degree of musical apathy evident in all of them.

                    Rick Dostie
                    Resurrection Lutheran Church
                    Waterville, ME USA

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                    • #11
                      At least the Catholic Church got rid of the dreaded 70's Hootenanny Masses ...... Lol....

                      Kumbaya Lord.....Kumbaya..... Just Kidding Folks....!!!
                      Roland Atelier AT60R, Hammond Xk1,
                      Kurzweil SP88X, Ensoniq SD 1
                      Old stuff: Hammond T 212, Hammond X5, Hammond Xb2, Arp Quartet, Roland Juno 60, Leslie 147

                      Comment

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