At our weekly church choir rehearsal at St. Olaf last night, we were informed by our music director that he had been laid off by the parish due to budget cuts.
The choir's last formal appearance will be this Sunday at the 11:15 AM Mass.
This is not to say there will be no music at St. Olaf. There is a staff of volunteer accompanists and singers (myself included) that assist the congregation at other Masses when the choir was not scheduled. Who will schedule them now is also a concern, as the wife of our music director (and also a choir member) handled that duty on a monthly basis.
Stunned is a very accurate word to use right now. Granted, nothing is sacrosanct; but why do you gut what is considered by many parishioners a significant and appreciated part of their parish life, not to mention an important asset in the liturgy? Our new priest has a very fine singing voice; in fact, in his first Mass here, he chanted the Opening and Closing Prayers as well as most of Eucharistic Prayer II. I had a glimmer of hope of the possibility of "singing the Mass" could have been done. It's still there; it's now been clouded by this.
I am not going to make it any more of a problem than it could be. Musical life at St. Olaf will continue, but it will be diminished.
Am I going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?
I'm leaning toward "B", but I need to discern my role.
(UPDATE): Please note this is only a part-time position.