Sunday, as most readers know, I can be found on the organ bench at the most awesome church ever, St. Luke’s in Saranac Lake. You should visit. It’s Episcopal, which I think is awesome. (Especially being someone who has seen every episode of The Vicar of Dibley and Clatterford.) And our Rector, Mother Ann is awesome. Seriously historic, gorgeous church. Awesome. And we have a pipe organ, which is also awesome.
It had been a busy week, and I managed to catch a cold besides. So I went in feeling a little wonky to begin with. For this particular Sunday service, I was switching off between the organ and piano. I had half of my music stacked on the piano, half on the organ. Somehow, I got the music to two of the hymns reversed. (You totally see what’s coming, don’t you?)
At the piano, I play the intro verse to the first hymn. Nicely, I might add. The congregation stands up two lines in, just like clockwork. Bless ’em – half of them must have already known I was making a mistake. I play a beautiful build up into the final into line, and we grandly cadence out of the intro verse. The procession is waiting at the back of the church.
And no one sings. No one walks down the aisle. I stop playing, stand up, look directly at the church full of people, and say, “I’m playing the wrong song, aren’t I?” The congregation, potentially the sweetest group of people I’ve ever met, a group that would never want to embarrass anyone or call attention to a mistake, doesn’t make a sound. Instead, they silently nod their heads, “Uh-huh.”
St. Luke’s is often so sweetly English, it out-Englishes England.