Let me begin by making one thing clear: Funerals are somber occasions which deserve the highest order of respect from those in attendance, and I would never, I repeat NEVER be disrespectful at a funeral. I might mentally entertain myself by creating humorous marketing slogans utilizing the unique names which funeral homes seem so prone to have, (You kill ‘em, we “Dunkum!” or Tired of long boring funerals? Come to us for a “Shorter” funeral! or you can fill in your own slogan for the “Butcher” funeral home!) but you’ll NEVER see me outwardly express mirth over the ridiculous things that happen at funerals.
That being established let me share a few observations about a proper organ prelude. These are inspired by the experience of a “friend” of mine (euphemism for “can’t admit it was me”) who recently survived a musical attrocity:
1) The organist should actually be able to complete a song.
2) The organist should realistically be expected to be able to play “The Old Rugged Cross”.
3) Upon reaching a point in the song he/she is unable to play, the organist should refrain from returning to the beginning of the song to try again. This musical technique should most certainly NOT be repeated multiple times on the same song.
4) The organist should refrain from launching into a raucously loud version of Amazing Grace as the officiating minister is beginning his opening remarks.
5) If the organist can’t successfully complete a verse of “How Great Thou Art” after two tries, he/she really shouldn’t play the third (or the fourth).
6) While “Charge” is appropriate organ music for a baseball game, it is most assuredly inappropriate for funeral recessionals.
Ever had a funny experience at a serious moment? church service, funeral, wedding etc?