I don’t know where to post this or what I’m even asking for in responses. Maybe sympathy? Or a rationale so I can realize I’m just being an unreasonable grouch and need to adjust my attitude?
But… I attend a Novus Ordo Mass (latin rite) and I’m not a very good singer. And recently my parish switched up all the tunes (e.g. for the Gloria). And I literally cannot hit most of the notes, and the tune seems counter-intuitive to me (changing constantly throughout, no discernible pattern (from my musically-uneducated perspective)), and it leaves me feeling glum… I guess because I miss the feeling of unity that comes from singing in unison with other people? And my ability to do that is so dependent on music being familiar and within a certain range. (But especially familiar, so I can at least figure out harmonies in my range, if I can’t hit the real notes.) Anyway, I dislike having to effectively stand there mostly in silence. And I’m very (very) slow at picking up the new stuff. Like, it can take weeks.
It feels like whenever I finally learn a previous tune, and have found the notes I can sing along to, the choir changes it up. Maybe they get bored? Or maybe this is a normal seasonal thing, and I’m just not used to it yet as an adult convert?
But I thought that a big part of the changes involved in creating the Novus Ordo, were about increasing participation from the laity. And for me, having virtually no regular/traditional hymns I can just know (it seems the hymns are different literally every day, and I’m bad at sight-reading from the hymnal), and even things like the Gloria continually changing… just leaves me feeling left out. And I feel like other laity might feel similarly (because there are a whole lot of other people staying silent almost all the time, unless an actually traditional hymn comes up that people all know, which is rare, but people do sing much more then).
For anyone who’s part of music ministry (or just really good at sight-reading music and singing a good range of notes) – can you give me an insight about what might be going on from a different perspective? If you’re in the choir, do you folks rehearse before Mass – and realize that most laypeople don’t get to rehearse first, so we spend the whole Mass just listening and not knowing how to join in? Do you feel as awkward about it as I (maybe we) do? Or do you find the variety a positive part of your worship of God, since this is an area you have a gift for?
Am I just a huge whiner, and in the musically-challenged minority? Or can anyone else relate?
PS honestly, much love to those engaged in music ministry. At least if I can’t sing along, SOMEONE is making beautiful music to God, haha. I just wish I could join in better, too.