Got Wedding Part A
So about the sharing time and space… the prep for the Wedding (I know – I’m working backwards here) was a hoot. Mike, Ernie and I met at Mike’s house one night about two and a half weeks before the wedding and attempted to put together the music that would be needed for the church.
This turned out to be a larger obstacle than I expected. First, there was the whole – “the groom wanted to get married by a lake so he could go fishing afterwards…” thing. Then, the bride only really wanted one song – and we were banned from singing it during the ceremony because, even though it’s based on scripture, it isn’t liturgical. Ah, well, the challenges of selecting songs for a church wedding ceremony…
The sub-plot was that Mike was in the backyard when we arrived, setting up a tent so that Rebecca and a friend could camp out that night – in 90+ degree heat!
Karen explained that Mike was frazzled because they had a toilet that he couldn’t fix and she had just noticed that the LED on the thermostat for the central air conditioner was faded out and she couldn’t read it. She was afraid to tell him, thinking he would freak. She swore Ernie and me to secrecy so that we could get some productive work done.
The music selection went fairly well – even Ernie had some positive contributions. We chose some oldies but goodies and some new songs. I promised Ernie and Mike I would send MP3s of the 2 new tunes. Of course, we neglected to set a rehearsal date, so that when it became apparent that I would be unable to attend the church rehearsal (because I was prepping for the dreaded colonoscopy), Ernie ended up not being available for when I COULD practice. Mike, Neal and I had a productive rehearsal on Wednesday before the wedding.
On Saturday, Wedding Day, Neal, Denise and I began the drive down to Camden (yes, Camden, NJ – City of Violence). As we passed the Old Ivystone, Neal looked over and said, “Hey, when did that place become an old people’s home? I saw Yngwie Malmsteen there!!” I am not lying when I tell you that place has been an assisted living facility for probably more than 15 years. And it’s not like Neal hasn’t driven past it once a week for the last 20 years!!!!
We arrived at the church early enough that we had a bit of time prior to the actual wedding ceremony and used that time to brush up some of the newer stuff and set harmony parts and beginnings and endings. Mike mentioned that at the wedding rehearsal Thursday night, Father Mike had asked if we planned to sing the “Our Father”. Mike said, “I told him we didn’t plan on it.” I thought to myself “Good, it’s been a long time since I had actually played the one that Father Mike would’ve wanted us to play”. Moments later, Ernie said, “Oh by the way, Father Mike wanted to know if we were going to sing the Our Father. I told him we weren’t going to.” I was just about to say “Good…” when Father Mike came up to us and said, “We’re singing the Our Father right?” In unison we responded, “No Father Mike, we didn’t prepare it.” I started to figure out the chords just in case. I got more than halfway through the song and Ernie looked at me. “No – we’re not doing it, Peg.” I nodded and we began the prelude songs as people were starting to come into church.
The ceremony went well and when it came to the part where we all would pray the Our Father, Father Mike looked right over at us and said, “Now let us all raise our voices in song as we pray the Our Father.” I couldn’t really see the paper where I had jotted down the chords, but I did my best from memory, completely ad libbing the ending… We all just giggled through the song.
When ever we do one of these church gigs, there is always one song that we fear will be a challenge and we had one for this gig. It happened that we needed it during a quiet prayerful moment of indefinite length. We had planned to sing the refrain twice hoping that we’d only have to do one verse because Ernie and Mike – who were doing the verses – weren’t real confident with the 2nd and 3rd verses.
As it turned out, our bride ended up NOT saying much of a prayer and we’d barely got through the refrain once when I saw her returning to her space in front of the altar. I signaled for a quick end to the song only to watch Ernie have a conniption because he had practiced and practiced that song and never got to sing a verse!!! “It was the best we ever did it,” he blustered.
AH – church gigs…