7 February 2020

Egg and Bacon

So we approach the 'Burying', on the Saturday before Septuagesima, of ALLELUIA.

In my seminary days, this caused one practical problem . We all returned from vacation to the Holy Week Retreat; and this involved practising the music for the Triduum ... and also for Easter Day.

How does one practise music including the A-word, without uttering the A-word?

My recollection is that when we got to the A-word in a text, instead of that forbidden vocable we sang "Eggs and Bacon".

I wonder what other memories fellow presbyters ... and musicians ... have of this nice little practical matter.

It was also important to remember not to schedule for use, until after Easter, the wonderfully moving "Russian Contakion of the Departed" which appeared in the English Hymnal clinging on by the skin of its teeth  as Number 744, and was very popular in Anglican Catholic circles. The Byzantia, of course, do not 'bury' the A-word.


Colin Spinks said...

Surely the ban on Alleluia only applies when actually performing the Liturgy, not merely rehearsing the music. Similarly, outside of church, one is surely allowed to exclaim "Alleluia" on receiving a piece of good news, or being cured of a disease?

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

It strikes me that it would be highly inappropriate to sing “eggs and bacon” should rehearsal fall on a Friday in Septuagesima and Lent. Indeed in many corners of the Church, such as monasteries, France and other parts of Europe until recently, these two delicacies could not be sung on any day from Ash Wednesday until Maundy Thursday.

Non timere! To this day in many good choirs the À-word is substituted by “Miserere”, the stress fits perfectly. But beware! It has happened at the Easter Vigil, as all his brethren lustily sing out “A————“ that a lovely clear young voice may be heard joyfully singing “Miserere”!

Royce said...

I remember using "Miserere" instead of "Alleluia" during certain schola rehearsals just a few years ago.

Donna Bethell said...

Surely, if Our Blessed Lady was immaculately conceived in anticipation of the Incarnation and Redemption, then "Alleluia" can be rehearsed in anticipation of Easter. In the good old days of much stricter fast and abstinence, I would have found singing "eggs and bacon" almost intolerable!

gutsy said...

One remembers reading that when the elderly exiled Empress Eugenie would visit Sandhurst, the cadets were drilled to acclaim her by shouting “LambBeerCheese!” Instead of the ( for them) more difficult “Vive l’Imperatrice!”

Shaun Davies said...

I am told that my fellow countrymen (but not co-religionists) in Northern Ireland within the more extreme ends of Presbyterianism would never practise the sacred words of the Metrical Psalms as to practise - without sincerity- the actual words of Holy Writ would be a step towards playing at worship. They had books with strange words which would fit the tunes and as an example for O God our help in ages past (almost a National Anthem of Unionist protestantism) would practise it by singing :
As I was going home one day
A strange thing did I see
A fish was sitting on a wall
A throwing stones at me

Do try it and astonish your friends, it does beat singing Eggs and Bacon.

stephen cooper said...

I celebrate Christmas every day of the year, it is a nice holiday, full of joy.

Easter is something else - I have had the experience of watching a loved one die.
Even if they were resurrected, I would be reluctant to consider the day of their resurrection, coming so soon after such a mournful day, a holiday ...
Maybe a mitigating day that makes the awful day of their death a little less bad -
remember, I live in a tradition which, since the days of the Garden of Eden, has included the traditional belief that God loves us all eternally - so while Easter might be a mitigating day, I am reluctant to celebrate, every day of the year, or even just every Sunday of the year, a "little Easter", because, after all, in addition to being Easter it is also necessarily the third day after someone I care very much about was tortured and killed.

Christmas, on the other hand .....