Sunday, November 21, 2010


There are times when I think everyone has to be a little selfish. Not in an "I don't care about anyone but myself" way but more like "if I don't take care of myself there is no way I can help anyone else." This is why the intention for the first decade of my daily Rosary is for my day, what ever struggles there will be (more often than not... just that I will "get through"), anything special happening, etc. If I don't put my life into God's hands first, how can I offer prayers for anything/anyone else? I know that my classes will suffer if I am cranky from not getting enough sleep. So, I have to be selfish when it comes to spending time with people in the evenings.

Sometimes, it's not easy to tell. There is a situation at one of the English Masses that I'm really struggling with. I've rejoined the choir after singing there five years ago. The "choir" sings every week, they meet an hour (or whenever people show up) before Mass to learn the hymns, of the 6-8 people, two have some musical training (more than being able to read music), two can read music somewhat, and the rest have to learn everything by ear. It's a motley crew to say the least. We just found out that the music director's husband got transferred back to the States. She is leaving before Christmas. That leaves a huge hole in the group. There is no official church leadership, no one who would look for a new director, and no money to pay a new director. If I don't take the position, there won't likely be anyone.

Seems pretty obvious, right? I'm here, have musical training, and therefore am the logical choice to take over. Only, the week before K. announced she was leaving, I had decided that I wanted to explore the possibility of singing with the choir at St. Matyas church. That is a semi-professional group that sings for Sunday Latin Mass at the Coronation Church up at the Buda Castle. Now, I'm stuck. I don't want to be in the new director. Frankly, there is some drama amongst the choir members (people who have absolutely no right trying to exclude others) that I don't want to deal with. Additionally, the accompanist can only be there a couple of weeks a month which means I would be stuck playing (or leading Mass unaccompanied) the rest of the time. My piano skills are poor to say the least and even what I can do isn't appreciated by the choir. When I had to play a few weeks ago, they got on my case because *gasp* I played wrong notes. HELLO! I'm HUMAN. And not a pianist. And I hadn't had access to a piano for four months.

I'm so torn. I feel like I have an obligation to take the position but, at the same time, I would so much rather be singing Schubert's Mass in G at St. Matyas than struggling to teach people to sing some banal OCP ditty by ear. I really wish the two English Masses were blended. It would be on Saturday evenings, either church.. that part doesn't matter, the music from Saturday, the priest from Sunday. Oh well, not going to happen so why dream.

Thoughts? Suggestions? How selfish is too selfish?


  1. Dear Rose,
    1. You are under no obligation to be choir director, even though you feel that you are.
    2. Why don't you try out for the choir at Matyas Templom. If you make it in, you have a time conflict that will force you to quit the directorless choir.
    3. If you don't make it in to the Matyas choir, you would have to decide then if you you wanted to be director of the directorless choir.

  2. Hi

    I agree with your dad, they can not force you in to the director job, and don't let them guilt you into doing so. As a singer, you do need to get to sing somewhere that gives you something back, and where you can learn. It might seem selfish, but choosing something that others say you "have to" do, instead of what you need for yourself, will not benefit you, or them, in the long term.
    And i totally agree with you that a combination of the two masses would be the best, or at least some kind of cooperation, at least. If we could use from each others choirs every now and then, or celebrate the bigger holidays together, it would make lots of things easier, joined forces are always better! But we have tried in the past, and after 4 years in the Saturday group (and monthly family Sunday masses with those who broke out of the other group a few years back), I know how difficult it's to actually do..