While we don’t play a lot of religious services in churches, the ones we do are always really special.
We recently got contacted by one of our favorite clients about playing flute and guitar music a Catholic mass service in celebration of her mother’s 80th birthday. In the past we have played music for a Catholic/Jewish wedding at a golf course in Scottsdale for this client as well as a Divine Mercy Celebration in Mesa, Arizona.
As always, this clients knew exactly what kind of music she would like to help celebrate her mother’s birthday at St Maria Goretti Roman Catholic Church in Scottsdale. She requested the following music:
Entrance of the priest: “How Great Thou Art”, a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in 1885.
Holy Communion: “Altisimo Senor” (Most High Lord) – have music but need chords written in
After the homily: “Ave Maria” composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as part of his Op. 52, a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott’s popular narrative poem The Lady of the Lake, loosely translated into German.
After Holy Communion: “Pescador de Hombre” (“Lord, You Have Come”) by Cesareo Gabarian
Alleluia Mode VI, a plainchant alleluia setting sometimes known as the Threefold Alleluia. The original source is unknown.
Ave Maria and How Great Thou Art are standard in our repertoire and Pescador de Hombre we had played before, but we had to arrange Altisimo Senor and Alleluia Mode VI for flute and guitar. We were able to easily arrange these.
The mass was attended by a small number of the birthday girl’s family and friends. Everyone wore masks inside the church and the church did a wonderful job of cleaning and keeping parishioners distanced from one another.
We got there early and played some gentle classical music as guests arrived since we just couldn’t wait to play in that beautiful setting. The mass was concluded by the woman of honor and her son making emotional speeches to the guest while they caught the moment on video. After the service, the family took photos inside the church and then they made a special request. They requested that we play “How Great Thou Art” one more time so that they could sing along. It was such a touching moment as the whole family joined hands and sung with such emotion.
We were so honored to add the musical backdrop of this special birthday celebration.