Becky Says...

June 2004

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June 6

Besides high school graduation on the 4th, the first weekend of June 1971 saw another major event in my life, my debut as a church organist on Sunday the 6th. It wasn't at my home Lutheran parish, but at another one in the same town.

The organist there knew me well enough to know I could do it, and knew I would probably enjoy the experience, so I was asked. It was a fairly easy service, with familiar hymns and my choice of prelude and postlude pieces (of course).

You must think this means I had at some point taken organ lessons. Umm, nope, never got around to doing that. I had learned a lot about playing organ over the years. I did spend some of that Saturday at the church, practicing and choosing which stops to use.

On Sunday, I arrived in plenty of time to meet with the choir and the pastor before the service, warn them they would soon find out I wasn't all that much of an organist (to which the pastor replied, "That's all right; I'm not much of a preacher!"), and practice the hymns with them. Always a good idea to make sure everyone's on the same page with hymns---and working at the same speed.

The service went beautifully. I made a few mistakes, but none that caused people to stop singing or start yelling at me. The pastor's comment about not preaching well was proved untrue, by the way.

Over the years, I haven't had a whole lot of chances to be the guest organist, but whenever I am, I remember that first time with great pleasure. It was the absolute best introduction to that work I could have had. And I am grateful for it.

Text © copyright 2000-2004 Becky