I don't usually get nervous, but this upcoming Sunday has me freaked out. Luckily I won't be by myself, but I'm still stressed about the event. Usually going to Mass isn't such a big deal; being on center stage can change a lot of that.
I've given several talks at parishes about homelessness, hunger, and poverty in the Milwaukee area, and those were rather easy. This Sunday I will be playing the music for Mass without the Music Director. This entails about 4 different hymns, the Mass Setting of Music, and the best part: it's all in Spanish. (no hablo espanol ><)
This entails knowing and making sure all equipment is set up before Mass, checking levels, attendance of the choir (missing a few sopranos makes things interesting), coordinating with everyone so they all know which hymns are being done, and of course the act of playing guitar and singing. My guitar playing is OK, but my singing is nothing to be proud of.
Luckily I won't have this task to myself. One of the other Postulants also plays guitar at this same Mass, and the Director has left it to us to lead the music for this Sunday's Mass. Now this is a Capuchin parish; the fact that we are there participating as Postulants is something the friars tell the parishioners each week. I know that even if we completely screw things up, no one will take offense or even say a mean thing about it. The standard response will be: "Oh, how wonderful it is that they're doing something so important!"
But for both the other Postulant and I, we see music as a huge part of our vocation. While scary and daunting, this is a chance for us to get actual experience about what it takes to perform the job of a Liturgical Music Director. Granted we're just a fill-in while the Director is away, but people get Master's degrees for this kind of work, and having the training already will be beneficial in the long run.
Also, I know deep in my heart that this will be one of those experiences where I will treasure forever...even if we completely mess up. To be able to talk about leading a Mass as a Postulant is a great story to tell when I'm old and crusty. So while I'm excited, I know I want to do everything I can to make this Sunday go without a hitch.
So say a prayer for me, God knows I can use em for this weekend!
Stay tuned, I plan on getting video of the event!