Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Caught between the choir director and priest...

  1. #1

    Caught between the choir director and priest...

    I'm sure I'm not the only church organist who has had this problem. Whenever I talk to our choir director about anything, he says really negative things about our priest. The choir director chooses most of the music, but the priest has the final say and many times they disagree on music choices. Anyways, that shouldn't be my problem, because my job is to play the organ, and I also sing.

    But it's kind of ridiculous; for example, I'll ask the director something simple, like what hymn he chose for the next Mass, and instead of just telling me he goes on a big spiel about how he hates the new hymnal that our priest has chosen. I've also been avoiding choir practice whenever I can (usually I don't accompany the choir anyways) because he spends half the time complaining about the priest! I understand that some personalities just don't mesh well, but it gets frustrating to be around such negativity sometimes.

    So has anyone else had this problem? I personally get along great with the priest and I don't like people talking behind his back, but I feel like it's not really my position to go and tattle on the director just because they seem to clash. Should I just ignore the director whenever he complains and just keep on playing organ and minding my own business?

  2. #2
    Stay OUT of any confusion. Play the organ, and look after number 1. Be careful what you say since most churches are nothing but cesspools of gossip about other members. They are capable of bringing themselves down without you complaining, and in time one will end up having to leave. I now look back and wonder why I put up with so much junk from church leaders just so I could play the organ. I should have retired when I finally acquired an organ to play at home.

  3. #3
    I have been with my parish about 30 years and we have gone through several pastors during that time - some delightful and others unspeakable. We have had the same music director all that time (he just retired) and we had the same situation that Whit describes. I can honestly say that the music director was usually right and the priest wrong. Fortunately, most of the priests were usually on the side of the music director and there was not too much discord. Right now, the situation is very good indeed, for all concerned.

    Baldwin is so very correct in everything he says - especially his good advice to Whit.
    (Pun not intended, but perhaps a charming coincidence.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clarion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,617
    Quote Originally Posted by Whit View Post
    Whenever I talk to our choir director about anything, he says really negative things about our priest. . . . he goes on a big spiel about how he hates the new hymnal that our priest has chosen.
    The choir director sounds like a pathological control-freak, who is suffering from the inability to control his environment. And why he stays with a system which only motivates him to do a whole lot bitching, is not rational. This is obviously not the kind of denomination where he will ever be happy.

    The Roman Catholic Church is ruled by an autocratic hierarchy which remotely decides who your priest or bishop might be with absolutely no regard for what the congregants might want. If the choir director doesn't like that, then he knows the chain-of-authority route to take. The fact that he too chicken to take that route suggests that he is trying to goad you into doing his dirty work for him; and if anything goes wrong, then you end up as the bad guy.

    The next time he goes on one of this diatribes, tell him that he is talking to the wrong person. You have no authority to change anything. Then hand him the name, address, etc of the bishop he should be corresponding with, if he desires to continue with his diatribe.

    In most Protestant churches, new pastors are democratically hired via a membership vote and ratification by the board. Seems that pastors can also be uncerimoniously fired at the whim of the board.

    There is no perfect system.

    I have been getting a bit of a chuckle out of the war between the Vatican and The 'Catholic' church in China. The Church in China has snubbing the Pope, and appointing whomever they choose for Bishop. Not much has changed in a thousand years. Just like in c. 1054, when church Patriarchs were hurling ex-communication lightning bolts are one another; senile old Ratzinger is engaging in the same kind of childish temper tantrum exhibited by his predecessors. There is no disagreement on theology. The entire petty juvenile war now being waged by Ratzinger against the Church in China, is all about POWER!!

    I believe that ole Ratzy has vastly underestimated the intelligence of the Church in China. They are far too busy freeing themselves from their own repressive homeland autocracy, without having the patience nor inclination to kneel in front of some foreign dweeb far away in the Vatican, whose only desire is to re-impose autocracy upon those who have so at the cost of so many lives, have herocially fought against that kind of autocratic nonsense.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarion View Post
    The choir director sounds like a pathological control-freak, who is suffering from the inability to control his environment. And why he stays with a system which only motivates him to do a whole lot bitching, is not rational. This is obviously not the kind of denomination where he will ever be happy.

    The next time he goes on one of this diatribes, tell him that he is talking to the wrong person. You have no authority to change anything. Then hand him the name, address, etc of the bishop he should be corresponding with, if he desires to continue with his diatribe.
    You're right. The next time he starts complaining, I'm just going to tell him that he's talking to the wrong person and change the subject. I think he's acting so childish, and he's about 20 years older than me (I'm 23)!

    I am interested to see how long he sticks around, because he's only been here about 2 years and he just has an attitude like he's better than everyone else, which doesn't go over well in a small town. Not only does he complain about the priest and congregation, but he acts like he's too good for this town. An example of how he acts--one day my dad complimented him after a Mass at which he was the cantor. Instead of saying thank you like a normal person, he said nothing, literally stuck his nose up in the air, and walked away. I'm not even exaggerating.

    The thing is, our priest is a really nice person, and I get along with him great, probably because he LOVES the organ. So at least I get along with one person around here.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Clarion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,617
    Quote Originally Posted by Whit View Post
    The thing is, our priest is a really nice person, and I get along with him great, probably because he LOVES the organ. So at least I get along with one person around here.
    Haaar! Nothing like telling choir director, every time he goes into one of his diatribes: that you believe that your priest is a "really nice person"!! Mister choir director might cross you off of his list of friends, who tolerate his venting; but that can only be a good thing!!

    There is no shame in expressing and supporting someone who has earned your admiration and trust.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarion View Post
    Haaar! Nothing like telling choir director, every time he goes into one of his diatribes: that you believe that your priest is a "really nice person"!! Mister choir director might cross you off of his list of friends, who tolerate his venting; but that can only be a good thing!!

    There is no shame in expressing and supporting someone who has earned your admiration and trust.
    I would be so heartbroken to be kicked out of his inner circle of confidants! Haha!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Clarion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,617
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarion View Post
    The next time he goes on one of this diatribes, tell him that he is talking to the wrong person. You have no authority to change anything. Then hand him the name, address, etc of the bishop he should be corresponding with, if he desires to continue with his diatribe.
    On second thought, why not just go right to the top . . . God!

  9. #9
    "Take it to the Lord in Prayer" Prayer works wonders.

    The Lord is the One to look to in this situation. He will make the crooked straight as an old song I remember from childhood read.

    If I go by what I am thinking right now I would need the Grease Pit. Part of my thoughts are about religion and the great harm it has done to so many people in churches.

  10. #10
    I think a big lesson I'm learning is not to get caught up in church politics. The reason I like playing the organ at church is because I want to participate and share my talents to glorify God. I figure that if He has blessed me with the love of music and the ability to play it, I should give some of that back to Him. I think I need to just try to stay focused on that.

Similar Threads

  1. Where's the choir?
    By rodenstock01 in forum On The Job
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-10-2009, 06:06 PM
  2. Choir fees for Weddings
    By quantum in forum On The Job
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-17-2008, 05:33 PM
  3. Ever been caught out?
    By andyg in forum General Chat
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-15-2006, 01:35 AM
  4. For Sale Lowrey Director Organ EZ Play
    By cpadilla in forum Buy & Sell Hammond and Other Organs Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-13-2003, 02:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •