Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Second Day - Getting Busy

Last evening at this time (2240 - we use the 24-hour clock here, you know), I was standing inside of a nearby gelato place munching on a combination hazelnut/almond "ice-a creama cona", as Br. Norman of happy memory would say when in Italy. That's one of the great Italian creations. You can get every flavor under the sun. Roch tried a taste of the chocolate with pepperocini (yuck!), and found out that he didn't have Italian taste buds.

My day was spent chasing down the details involved in the upcoming ceremonies, which included a quick trip to the center of Rome on the Metro in order to find a music store and a sustain pedal for the small keyboard from the school next door that will be used in the chapel for the services, a series of meetings to determine what needs to be done when, emails to liturgy committee members letting them know what will have to be covered before their arrival (most are arriving a day or so before we start), and conversations with Brothers in the house about liturgy resources, their availability for organ-playing, and so on. This afternoon and evening were spent putting together the contents of the opening ceremony and the program. This three-language thing is going to be a bear, I can tell already. Suddenly I'll be stumped because I don't know "General Intercessions" or "Greeting of Peace" in Spanish and French. And off I run to tackle the nearest French or Spanish-speaking Brother.

I'm using several Taize pieces, but they're not done in three languages usually, so I have to find a good translation, plug the phrases into the right notes, and then go into Photoshop to manipulate the score with the new phrases. Interesting stuff, but time-consuming. I had hoped to have three services (Opening Ceremony, Opening Mass, first Morning Prayer) done today, and I've completed one. The other two will have to be done tomorrow.

Br. Roch went out to get the fabric for the tent in the main chapel. Here's a picture of what the chapel looks like now. Later on, I will put up some shots of the transformation - if there is one. Apparently, the Brothers in the house aren't too keen on the idea. But I'm simply following the request of the Preparatory Commission and its directions about the theme of the General Chapter, along with a desire to have a "tent" atmosphere for our prayer space. I didn't realize that a liturgist had to be such a diplomat also. (Yes, I know the joke: "How do you tell the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist? ...pause... You can negotiate with a terrorist.")

Got about three hours of sleep last night - I think. Really got to know a pigeon cooing outside my window well. Tried to put a positive spin on it and took it to be a sign of the Holy Spirit's presence during our time here. You could do worse.