I started this site mainly to keep a record of hymns played each week, based on the Excel sheet I keep on my laptop.
Then along came the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020, and I started using the site for another purpose – recording hymns for parishioners to listen to. From April to end of June 2020 was the oddest 12 weeks. I recorded hymns so people could sing along (and often put the lyrics with them) and learn them as we couldn’t practice as a choir, but I actually played these live from home for the hymns during Mass. We had 2 methods for parishioners to hear Mass; a phone conference call, and Zoom. So I had 2 microphones (for myself and my wife) and the electronic organ routed through a mixer. I sent the output to a soundblaster usb DAC plugged into an android phone for the conference call, and a Behringer UCA222 DAC plugged into the laptop for Zoom. All worked very well, though it was extremely odd – I could vaguely hear parishioners joining in with the hymns, but due to latency I had to turn the volume down as I daren’t listen fully – I’d never have kept time otherwise!
From 5th July to date, there are no recorded hymns, but I’ve kept up the list of hymns. Through November we were using Zoom again during the 2nd 4 week lockdown, but from the 2nd Sunday in Advent we were able to get back to Church for Mass.
The Bishops’ Conference instructions are that Mass is to be kept short, so the entrance hymn is only a verse or two (no procession), no offertory, the communion hymn is fairly short as we generally have between 30 and 40 communicants (church capacity with social distancing is 48) and continues (or I play a post-communion Taizé or something similar) until Fr Mark has has cleaned the challice and ciborium. Then Recessional while everyone’s leaving – I can’t go on for too long because the church has to be cleaned up and sanitised for the 12pm Mass. I sanitise the organ before and after playing, taking care not to allow liquid to get into the works – I don’t think the stop buttons or the keys have ever been as clean, the first week back I needed 3 wipes as it hadn’t been cleaned for years!.