Friday, November 26, 2010
Lo, how a what???
Here are two facts:
1. Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent.
2. I’m finally beginning to lose it.
I am usually quite accurate about spelling (I always won the weekly spelling bees in school), but this week I had one of those moments. Most of you know that I was hired this past September to provide music at a Methodist Church. To be technically accurate, the church doesn’t have an organ or a piano; it has an electronic thingie called a Yamaha Clavinova that can make a plethora of sounds. It can do everything but toast bread. However, of the many possible toots and bells and whistles settings available, I confine myself to using just three: grand piano, tubular chimes, and pipe organ. The rest can just disappear for all I care. Some people somewhere may actually want to hear “Holy, Holy, Holy!” played badly on the saxophone or a rendition of “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” on the tuba, but they won’t be hearing either one from me.
When I began, the pastor asked me to select the hymns each week in addition to playing a prelude, an offertory, and a postlude. The names of the prelude and postlude are not printed in the weekly bulletin, but the hymns and offertory are.
Anyhoo, on Tuesday I told Patty, the church’s administrative assistant, that the offertory for this Sunday (the First Sunday in Advent, remember?) would be “Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming.” I wrote it down for her. What I should have written, of course, was “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” (the English title of a 15th-century German carol called “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”).
Ere and e’er mean two different things.
A rose ere (before) blooming is no rose at all, just a bunch of foliage and thorns, but a rose e’er (ever) blooming, now that’s something to contemplate while the offering plate is passed.
Normally the church office is staffed Monday through Thursday. However, because this week was Thanksgiving week, the office was staffed on Monday and Tuesday only. Normally Patty puts the bulletin together on Wednesday and prints it on Thursday morning. By the time I realized my error, it was Tuesday evening, Patty had long since gone home, not just for the day but for the week, and the bulletins were already printed. Come Sunday, my error is going to be out there for the local Methodist churchgoing public to see, and for those with discerning eyes I shall be exposed as less than a perfect speller.
Oh, the shame of it all.
Okay, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, or as The Amplified Bible might put it, “Okay [fine, all right], maybe [possibly, perhaps] I’m [merely] being a little [more] melodramatic [than usual].”
I will try to see the bigger picture. So I misspelled a word. Big deal.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and I must bring this post to a close.
Before you leave, though, please pick Door #1 . . . . . Door #2 . . . . . or Door #3.