Tales from the Organ Loft #1

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.



Filed under adirondacks

5 responses to “Tales from the Organ Loft #1

  1. ADKtricollie

    I have passed that church many times when in Saranac Lake and although I have never stepped foot in the church, it has always drawn my attention. A beautiful quaint country church. I am sure whatever mishaps there were, it all turned out well and everyone enjoyed.

    Hey your human! That’s why we have erasers on pencils and a delete button on the computer.

  2. They were probably hoping for show-tunes.

  3. Honestly, we thought you were the one who was charming. It was endearing and the space you occupy in our hearts grew right there on the spot!

  4. themac

    I’ve always loved that church from the outside. I have been within, but never to check it out. I’ll have to stop in some day!!

  5. Of course. They love you. How could they not? Nice post 🙂

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