Tag Archives: choir

Pirated music…..


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February 10, 2016 · 10:50

Drive-in Church

In the early 1980s, I once attended a church service in Grand Rapids, Michigan……

….. in a drive-in movie theatre on a Sunday morning!

The place was used at night as an outdoor cinema but on Sunday morning became a venue for worship of a sort.

My sister-in-law and I drove my rental car into this quite large arena which was rapidly (sic) filling up with other drivers, parked alongside a sound post and attached the audio speaker through the top of the driver’s window…… and waited.

The “pastor” appeared on stage – in front of the blank movie screen – wearing a salmon pink suit and welcomed us, before introducing a choir which sang a couple of worship ditties.  There was then a prayer, Scripture Readings, more music and a brief sermon – rather what one would expect of any Church Service BUT WITHOUT ANY PARTICIPATION FROM THOSE IN THE PARKED CARS.

It was a strange experience.  There was no fellowship; the “worshipers” were isolated in their vehicles.  There was no communication between congregation and Minister; no interchange nor participation in any way in the service; no congregation singing nor responsive prayers. Nobody left their parked cars but just sat there passively. Just a kind of emptiness; a void (and I wish that I had avoided it).

And the hot dog and popcorn stands were shut too!  I should have brought my own beer and sandwiches! (only kidding)

As we left, we couldn’t get through the exit gate before putting our offering in a bucket proffered by burly “stewards” who stopped each car before it left.

Quite bizarre altogether but an experience.


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A bit naughty

during the uplifting of the Offering, the Meenister went over to the organist and said, “you see Miss M. In the choir? I always thought that she was a natural blonde – but she’s wearing a very short skirt today and, well, you can see right up it and she’s obviously not!”

“Aye, she is a genuine blonde – these are a cluster of bluebottles you’re looking at!”

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Organ 2

A certain choir was rehearsing one of Stanford’s more difficult pieces when the choir director noiced a kerfuffle in the organ loft. He called up, “Mr. Y, is there a problem?” Came the peeved reply, “Yes! My pedal light is out!” Silence followed for a moment, then- “Mr. Y, Bach never had a pedal light!”

To which Mr. Y retorted, “Bach never had to play Stanford in G!”

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. 

Born: September 30, 1852, Dublin
Died: March 29, 1924, London
Education: Queens’ College, Cambridge, Eton College

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The Choir

A church had a man in the choir who couldn’t sing. Several people hinted to him that he could serve in other places, but he continued to come to the choir. The choirmaster became desperate and went to the minister.

“You’ve got to get that man out of the choir,” he said. “If you don’t, I’m going to resign. The choir members are going to give too. Please do something.”

So the minister went to the man and suggested, “Perhaps you should leave the choir.”

“Why should I get out of the choir?” he asked.

“Well, five or six people have told me you can’t sing.”

That’s nothing,” the man snorted. “Fifty people have told me that you can’t preach!”

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The Protestant Dictionary

AMEN: The only part of any prayer that everyone knows.

AND IN CONCLUSION: A required statement midway through the sermon.

BAPTISTRY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.

BULLETIN: 1. Parish information, read only during the sermon.

CHOIR: 1. A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to pantomime singing. 
2. If the music is quality, the words cannot be understood. 
3. If the words are quality, the music is lousy.

HYMN: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.

MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.

MANGER: The Bible’s way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Protestant Churches.

PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of the service, consisting of the pastors, the choir, and late parishioners looking for seats.

RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song on Sunday AM, often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.


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Ron Rattner’s “Why The Choir Was Late” check out Ron’s site: www.SillySutras.com

The following article telling the story originally appeared in the March 27, 1950 issue of Life Magazine, was reprinted in the June 1950 issue of Reader’s Digest, and in the 1951 30th Anniversary Reader’s Digest Reader. And it was republished in 1991 by Time-Life Books in World of Luck: Library of Curious and Unusual Facts. ..

It happened on the evening of March 1 in the town of Beatrice, Nebraska. In the afternoon the Reverend Walter Klempel had gone to the West Side Baptist Church to get things ready for choir practice. He lit the furnace – most of the singers were in the habit of arriving around 7.15, and it was chilly in the church – and went home to dinner. But at 7.10, when it was time for him to go back to the church with his wife and daughter, Marilyn Ruth, it turned out that Marilyn Ruth’s dress was soiled, so Mrs. Klempel ironed another. Thus they were still at home when it happened.

Ladona Vandegrift, a high school sophomore, was having trouble with a geometry problem. She knew practice began promptly and always came early. But she stayed to finish the problem.

Royena Estes was ready, but the car would not start. So she and her sister, Sadie, called Ladona Vandegrift, and asked her to pick them up. But Ladona was the girl with the geometry problem, and the Estes sisters had to wait.

Mrs. Leonard Schuster would ordinarily have arrived at 7.20 with her small daughter, Susan. But on this particular evening she had to go to her mother’s house to help her get ready for a missionary meeting.

Herbert Kipf, lathe operator, would have been ahead of time but had put off an important letter. “I can’t think why,” he said. He lingered over it and was late.

It was a cold evening. Stenographer Joyce Black, feeling “just plain lazy,” stayed in her warm house until the last possible moment. She was almost ready to leave.

Because his wife was away, machinist Harvey Ahl was taking care of his two boys. He was going to take them to practice with him, but somehow he got wound up talking. When he looked at his watch, he saw he was already late.

Marilyn Paul, the pianist, had planned to arrive half an hour early. However, she fell asleep after dinner, and when her mother awakened her at 7.15 she had time only to tidy up and start out.

Mrs. F.E. Paul, choir director, and mother of the pianist, was late simply because her daughter was. She had tried unsuccessfully to awaken the girl earlier.

High school girls Lucille Jones and Dorothy Wood are neighbors and customarily go to practice together. Lucille was listening to a 7-to-7:30 radio program and broke her habit of promptness because she wanted to hear the end. Dorothy waited for her.

At 7.25, with a roar heard in almost every corner of Beatrice, the West Side Baptist Church blew up. The walls fell outward, the heavy wooden roof crashed straight down like the weight in a deadfall. But, because of such matters as a soiled dress, a cat nap, an unfinished letter, a geometry problem and a stalled car, all of the members of the choir were late – something which had never happened before.

Firemen thought the explosion had been caused by natural gas, which may have leaked into the church from a broken pipe outside and been ignited by the fire in the furnace. The Beatrice choir members had no particular theory about the fire’s cause, but each of them began to reflect on the heretofore inconsequential details of his life, wondering at exactly what point it is that one can say, “This is an act of God.”

We can only speculate on answers to these questions, or on other possible explanations. But whatever our views, such marvels and blessings can infuse us with awe and gratitude for our miraculous life in this wondrous world
and with abiding faith in the eternal mystery of Divine Love –
its Source.

And so may it be!


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