Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vocations Awareness and Brian Flynn

Wednesday greetings to all.

This week marks the 24th annual J. S. Paluch Vocations Seminar sponsored by the National Vocations Awareness Division of our company. It is being held here in the O'Hare area. Through the generosity of the Paluch family, leaders in vocations from around the country gather each year for input and discussion.



Have I told you lately that this is a wonderful company for which to work? Our owners, Bill Rafferty and his wife, Mary Lou Paluch Rafferty, are inspirations to me every day. Their dedication to serving the Church through parish communications, bulletin advertising, vocations awareness, beautiful parish calendars, and resources for the singing, praying, and initiating Church is unmatched.



Last evening, one of WLP's new artists and composers, Brian Flynn, presented a one hour concert for those gathered at the vocations seminar. If you haven't had the chance to hear Brian, here's a clip from EWTN's "On the Rock" program. You'll find him singing his piece You Are a Priest Forever at the eleven minute mark on the video. Brian wrote this piece for the Year of the Priest. Enjoy.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Honest Sharing in Orlando

Welcome to the world of "New Translation Tuesday."



I wanted to share a few thoughts about my experience at the Orlando Liturgical Conference.

I gave three presentations focused on The Roman Missal. One concerned the Missal and the RCIA (basically a presentation on liturgical catechesis for catechumens and candidates). The second focused on the Missal and music directors. The third was focused on the Missal and the assembly.

In the third presentation, I did some comparisons between the current translation and the new translation. There was a person there who said this to the group at the workshop: "I am a medieval Latin scholar and this translation is an abomination!"




What is a presenter to say? Actually, I told her that I agreed that there were places in the Missal where the translation is so awkward and stilted that comprehension seems nearly impossible. And, for those of you who follow this blog regularly, you know that I am reserving judgment about the efficacy and comprehensibility of these texts until we actually begin praying the texts at Mass.

We focused on the Collect for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Here is the current translation:
God our Father,
your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow him
reject what is contrary to the Gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
      your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
      in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Two simple sentences, followed by a doxology.

Then we looked at the new translation:

O God, who show the light of your truth
to those who go astray,
so that they may return to the right path,
give all who for the faith they profess
are accounted Christians
the grace to reject whatever is contrary
     to the name of Christ
and to strive after all that does it honor.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
     in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


This is one of those texts that I have practiced over and over again. It has taken me quite a bit of time to learn where to speed up, where to slow down, what to stress, what not to stress and still, I am not sure if I can communicate the meaning of the prayer. One person at the workshop said that she felt that the people in the congregation simply would not be able to comprehend the text because of the complexity of the prayer's structure.

What we all agreed upon is what many have been saying over and over again. Priests and bishops will need to spend much more time preparing to proclaim these texts. And we in the congregation will need to be helped to learn how to become much more attentive and active listeners, unlike this crowd:



Time and experience will tell. I am hopeful but getting a bit more tense about all of this. How about you?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, August 29, 2011

CNS Article and The Roman Missal in Orlando

Good Monday to all. Arrived back in Chicago last night and am back at the desk here in the "home office."

You may have seen the news piece from Catholic News Service over the weekend. If not, here you go. I was interviewed a few weeks ago.

Enjoy reading the article and let me know your reactions by hitting the comments box below.

Here are a few photos taken at the Orlando Liturgical Conference. It was amazing to watch people touch the actual Roman Missal, Third Edition. They commented on how beautiful it was, how the print was so large and readable, how the art  work from the Vatican Apostolic Library was so beautiful, etc. They also commented on how large the book is and how much notated chant is inside. I was so proud of our WLP team.

 


More about my experience in Orlando in tomorrow's post.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Orlando Liturgical Conference: RCIA and the Roman Missal

It's very early on Friday morning here in Orlando. My apologies for not having posted yesterday; the day just slipped away.



Here at the Orlando Liturgical Conference, being held at the airport Marriott, it's all things Roman Missal. Father Paul Turner gave an excellent keynote to start us all out together last night. Then there was a round of workshops, followed by some social time together. My own workshop was focused on the RCIA and the Roman Missal. I talked about the Church's view and history of mystagogical reflection. I tried to help these initiation ministers see that the Church's liturgy is a locus theologicus, a site or place where theology, what we believe, is expressed. Then I showed them how they could take the experience of praying a newly translated text, in this example the Gloria, and move into a reflection on that text in a mystagogical way with catechumens and candidates. I used Pope Benedict's clearly articulated mystagogical method (from his Sacramentum Caritatis) to move through the process. It seemed to go quite well.

All of this hinges on the hope that the new translation will mean much more for the Church than a set of new words. If this implementation means that we become more aware of the fact that what we pray expresses what we believe, then we will have accomplished something wonderful.

It has been a real treat being back here in Orlando. Connecting with old friends, being with people with whom I learned how to minister, how to care for people, how to see the ways that liturgy and music form us, has been a real gift the past few days.

It's two more workshops and a WLP showcase today, so I had better get moving.

I am praying for the safety of all, including my own family members in New England, as the hurricane prepares to begin to impact the East Coast,

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Orlando Liturgical Conference 2011

Early Wednesday morning here in Chicago. Getting ready to head to the airport. Destination today is the Diocese of Orlando for their Orlando Liturgical Conference. My first real Church "job" was in the Orlando diocese, as director of liturgy and music at Saint Mary Magdalen parish in Altamonte Springs. The now-renovated interior is pictured here:


I will be giving three workshops at the conference. Not surprisingly, the conference is focused on the reception of The Roman Missal, Third Edition. Here are descriptions of my three talks:

The Roman Missal and the RCIA Process
This workshop will focus on ways that the texts of the Roman Missal, sung and prayed at Sunday Mass, can serve as a tool for formation for catechumens and candidates. Discover practical ways to make the Church’s liturgy the heart of pastoral formation in the RCIA process.


The Roman Missal and Music Directors
This workshop will assist parish music directors in developing a plan to assist and minister to the many people (musicians, clergy, assembly, children) that will be affected by the new translation of the Roman Missal. Practical tips on managing change will be shared.

The Roman Missal and the Assembly
In this workshop, Dr. Galipeau will review the full, conscious, active participation of the assembly in the liturgy, with a special focus on the opportunities and challenges presented by the newly translated texts of the Roman Missal.

I am looking forward to spending time with the wonderful people in the Orlando Diocese. There is a definite sense of being at home when I am in Orlando.

I will be praying for those gearing up for whatever Hurrican Irene has in store.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Let the Ride Begin

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

For many parishes across the country, this coming Sunday will be the final Sunday that the current translation of the Gloria, Sanctus, and Memorial Acclamations will be sung. Here in the Archdiocese of Chicago, parishes may begin singing the new translation on Sunday, September 3.

In my own parish, our music director has decided to delay the early implementaion. The choir has been on its summer hiatus; many still sing as a group on Sundays, but they have not had rehearsal for several weeks. Once they re-group, they will be learning the Mass of Saint Ann by Ed Bolduc. Dan, our music director, felt it was essential that the choir know the new setting very well before beginning to teach it to the congregation. I think this is wise.

I, for one, am looking forward to singing the new translation. And I am also looking forward to seeing and hearing people's reactions at my parish. What I am perhaps less excited about is the implementation of the rest of the Missal. I think it's going to be tough going for many priests and bishops, at least in the first several months. Praying new words is one thing. Praying in a new English language, a "sacral vernacular" as Liturgiam Authenticam puts it, is quite another. Put on your seat belts, folks, the ride is about to begin.

Which of the following images best describes how you envision the "ride" to be?
















Sometimes we need a little injection of humor.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Long Ride

It's late on Sunday evening here in Chicago. I have a very busy day tomorrow, so I thought I would offer a very brief post tonight.

I have been watching unfolding events in Libya tonight. Information and mis-information abounds. I will end my day praying for the best for my brothers and sisters there.

Today was a tough and exhilarating day for this blogger. Those who follow my life through this blog know that I am a regular "spinner" at the gym in the mornings; 45 minutes spent most days at around 6:00 A.M. on a bike in an enclosed space with a group of much younger people, spinning our legs around and around. I take this time to pray, to focus, and to pray the rosary.

Today, I did the "Wright Ride," the Frank Lloyd Wright ride through the Chicago suburbs, riding past many of his great architectural achievements. Well, 51.6 miles later, after an hour in the hot tub, feeling OK, wondering how the knees and legs will feel in the morning, but very, very grateful for the opportunity and the physical ability to have accomplished this. Here's the photo at the finish:



So, folks, let's hope this is a week that opens the world to perhaps a renewed commitment to peace, here, in Libya, and throughout the world.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Four Seasons, Chicago Style

Friday, August 19, 2011. Wow, where has this summer gone?

It's a beautiful afternoon here in Chicago. The Chicago Air and Water Show, one of my favorite annual events, takes place this weekend.


On Sunday, I am planning on a 50-mile bike ride through the suburbs. Trying to enjoy this summer weather because it won't be long until . . .



And then this . . .



Ah, the wonders of four seasons! Right now, I am enjoying these late summer days.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Translation Thursday: Most Catholics Are Unaware of the New Translation!

Welcome to another installment of "New Translation Thursday."





Have you seen the report from CARA regarding the new translation of the Missal?

These statistics did not come as a surprise to me, but they are telling.

In this new survey conducted by CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), Catholics were asked this question: Have you heard "that parishes in the United States will soon be implementing changes in the words and prayers at Mass at the direction of the Vatican?"

77% answered "no," which means that 44 million adult Catholics, at this point, don't know about the upcoming changes.

Of course, those who attend Mass more frequently are much more likely to respond that they do know about the changes. 57% of respondents who attend Mass at least once per week said that they were aware of the upcoming changes.

This is the statistic I find quite alarming. One would think that parishes would have begun some kind of education process at this point in time. Perhaps many parishes are waiting until the Fall, the beginning of the so-called "school year" to begin preparatory catechesis?

Some more stats. 34% of those who attend Mass once or twice a month report that they are aware of the changes. Not surprisingly, 9% of those who attend Mass only on large feasts (Easter and Christmas) said that they are aware.

Those in Catholic schools were surveyed as well. 31% of Catholic elementary school children, 39% of Catholic high school students, and 48 % of those who attend a Catholic university are aware of the changes.

33%  of Catholics with at least a bachelor's degree, 24% of those who have only a high school diploma and no further education, and 19% of those who did not graduate from high school know that the changes are coming.



Catholics over 68 years old know most about the upcoming changes (50%). 30% of those who are 51 to 67 years old are aware. The percentage continues to drop the younger the Catholic is. 20% of Catholics between the ages of 30 and 50 report knowing about the changes.



17% of those born after 1982 know about the changes.

The Midwest comes out on top as far as regions in the United States are concerned, with 36% knowing about the changes. In the Northeast and South, 25% know. And Catholics in the West come in at just 18%.

Folks, it seems like we have lots and lots of work to do to prepare our Catholic people for the changes. Knowing that change is coming is only one part of the equation here. Just because someone knows a change is on the horizon does not necessarily mean that they know what those changes are, why they are happening, nor what impact those changes will have on Catholic liturgical life and spirituality.

Do you find these statistics surprising?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chants from the Order of Mass and We Celebrate Hymnal

Wednesday greetings to all.

Two WLP items of note for today's blog post.

First, I now have in my hand a printed copy of Charles Thatcher's Chants from the Order of Mass.


Here's a peek inside.


Sorry it is so blurry. You can find this on WLP's web site where you'll be able to view sample pages and listen to a simple recording of the chants.

Second, I am in middle of helping our editorial department with final proofs of our We Celebrate Hymnal accompaniment. If you are looking for a fine semi-permanent hymnal for this coming Advent (with or without a missal program), I think you will love We Celebrate. Here's what the new hymnal looks like:





It is filled with wonderful titles, old and new. Many of Christoph Tietze's Introit Hymns are included, as well as Charles Thatcher's Communion Chants. The very best of WLP's wide range of repertoire is represented. You will also find what are emerging to be the most-preferred revised and newly composed musical settings for the Mass, including Steven Warner's and Karen Schneider-Kirner's Mass for Our Lady.




We at WLP are so pleased to be able to make these resources available for the singing, praying, and initiating Church.  If you would like a sample of the new We Celebrate Hymnal, feel free to contact us at 800 566-6150 or wlpcs@jspaluch.com.

And, just to let you know that my life is not necessarily all work, all travel, or all Roman Missal, this was the view I had of last night's Chicago White Sox game (won the tickets in a charity raffle).


Gotta sing. Gotta play . . . oops . . . pray!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Multilingual Parishes

Another "New Translation Tuesday" has arrived.

I had an experience last night that has some bearing on the discussion of the new translation. I stopped by the Velika Gospa neighborhood festival sponsored by Saint Jerome Croatian Catholic Church here in Chicago; this was the 105th annual Festival celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is sponsored by Saint Jerome's. It is the oldest continuous neighborhood festival in Chicago. 

Some photos of the festival, as well as the exterior and interior of the parish church:









What strikes me, on this "New Translation Tuesday," is that this parish, like so many, celebrates Mass in more than one language. I am sure there are people here who attend the Croatian Mass regularly, but, on a less regular basis, attend Mass in English. With the English changing so dramatically on November 27, one wonders if, for some people, they will not even experience the new translation until some time later in the winter. So, it looks like in parishes in which the Mass is celebrated in different languages, it may take just a bit longer for everyone to get on board with the new translation, most especially in places where people are fluent in two or more languages that are prayed at the various Masses.

Just something else to sift through with all of this!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Outsiders and Insiders

Another beautiful day has dawned here in Chicago. I hope that wherever you are you can take a moment to "stop and smell the roses" today.

At Sunday Mass yesterday at Saint James, our guest celebrant and homilist was Fr. Harry Hagan, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in southern Indiana. He teaches Old Testament at the School of Theology at Saint Meinrad. Father Hagan visited us last summer and I was really drawn into the Mass; the same thing happened yesterday. He has a simple and beautiful singing voice. He prayed the texts quite beautifully. And his preaching was outstanding. Reflecting on the text from Isaiah, and the story of the Canaanite woman, Father asked us to think about what it means to feel like an outsider; as well as what it means to feel like an insider. He suggested that every person has an innate sense of being an outsider; not being able to live up to the expectations of those who are perceived as being on the inside.



I looked around at the people sitting at Mass yesterday and thought about these words. The parish is made up of a variety of cultural and ethnic groups, predominantly African-American. Surely the differences in race and ethnicity have been causes for having people feel like outsiders. And for me, a white man of Western-European descent, there is sometimes a sense of feeling like an ousider in a predominantly African-American parish. But what I came to realize is that this sense of being an outsider in my parish is totally of my own making. I have never been in a more welcoming parish in my life. And the warmth and hospitality that I feel at Saint James is more genuine than you can imagine. So, as I reflected yesterday, I realized that there are times when we self-construct an attitude of being on the outside. Now, don't get me wrong, there have certainly been times in my own life that I have been pushed out; that I have been told that I am, in some way "outside." But, when I think about it, isn't there something about being in a new "inside" when pushed "outside?" A group of people who has been rejected by another group of people becomes a group of outcasts who may then develop their own set of expectations and mores, and may eventually define who the outsiders and insiders are.

Ah, my head is spinning with all of this stuff. It was just a good thing to have a homily preached that has had me thinking and thinking.

When you think about your own life, at your core, do you feel like an outsider or an insider?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Translation Thursday: The Roman Missal, Third Edition Arrives!

Welcome to yet another installment of "New Translation Thursday."

Well, folks, days don't get much bigger than this in the publishing world. After years of intense labor and preparation, the World Library Publications' Deluxe and Value Editions of The Roman Missal, Third Edition arrived here today. These are advance copies; the rest are on their way. This is the real thing.

I am so proud of all of our employees here at WLP, as well as the many proofers and music engravers who worked so hard to make this a reality. All of these people were capably led by Michael E. Novak, who is the project editor and manager.

A few photos; I feel like a proud new Dad!






Just a reminder: publishers are not allowed to ship copies of the missal until October 1, 2011.

The book just feels great in the hand. The artwork is made possible through a special arrangement with the Vatican Apostolic Library. The text is so readable; the genuine leather tabs with gold leaf look wonderful, the gilded edges of the pages on the deluxe edition are splendid. The genuine leather cover makes this look and feel like a book that will last generations. One of the folks here took a look and said that she thought this was an historic moment for us. I agree. Very excited.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Chicago Cathedral Day

"O, what a beautiful morning" here in Chicago. My view while waiting for my train this morning at the elevated train station on the Green Line at the Clinton stop:


If you look closely enough, you can see the protruding windows near the top of the Willis (Sears) tower. Too scary for me. Here's what I mean:


I don't think so!

This afternoon I will be attending the episcopal ordination of Chicago's two new auxiliary bishops, the Most Reverend Andrew Peter Wypych and the Most Reverend Alberto Rojas. I haven't been to an episcopal ordination since the early 1980's. When I was a seminarian in Boston, I played the organ at all the major events at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, pictured here:


Many hours were spent on the organ bench in this beautiful cathedral, playing at diaconate ordinations, priesthood ordinations, episcopal ordinations, funerals of bishops, the funeral of Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, and other Archdiocesan celebrations. One of the high musical points in my life was sitting on the organ bench just a few miles away from Holy Cross cathedral on the evening of October 1, 1979.



The following morning, before flying to New York to speak to the United Nations, Bl. Pope John Paul II walked across the lawn at the seminary to bid farewell to those of us who were gathered there to watch his helicopter take off. This photo was taken by a journalist standing next to me:





He was looking at us and telling us that he hoped someday to return to Boston. This particular photo was then doctored up a bit and turned into this famous portrait:




Anyway, a little Galipeau nostalgia for you today.

Today's episcopal ordinations will take place at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. When I arrived here in Chicago back in the early 1990's, I was anxious to see Holy Name and, after having grown up in Boston and after having visited some of our nations cathedrals, was quite surprised at how small Holy Name seems. Here are some photos of Holy Name Cathedral here in Chicago.







Hope you enjoyed today's cathedral and papal travelogue. I'll keep all of you in prayer today during the afternoon at Holy Name.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Translation Tuesday: Corn!!!

Welcome to this installment of "New Tranlsation Tuesday."



I know that over the past several weeks, there are many newcomers to Gotta Sing Gotta Pray. I want to say a special welcome to all of you, especially the newbies. (Pardon the following; it's my French-Canadian roots leaking out!):



On most mornings, after my "spin" class at the gym, I head to a little coffee shop called "Sip." They have a whiteboard there, which always has two names on it; if your name happens to match one of the two, you get a free cup of coffee that day. Well, today, here's what the board said:


It just so happens that two of my siblings are named "Janet" and "Jimmy." Too bad they were in Massachusetts this morning, and not in Chicago!

I wanted to comment on one of yesterday's comments on this blog:

Yes, the liturgical context will make a difference, for better and possibly for worse. I heard this prayed in a dry run Mass last year and even in that situation, it felt different. The presider prayed it well -- and that will be critical. But precisely because of the unfamiliar structures, we may find our ears more attuned to it vs. what has become familiar. I am not a fan of how this all unfolded with the Roman curia, but I'm confident that the Spirit is somewhere at work in the prayer and in the hearts of those who will pray it in earnest.


I found this comment to be a very honest reflection and assessment, especially the part about us being more attuned to the new prayers simply because they sound different.

It reminds me of what one of the deacons said about all of this at the formation day in Iowa a few days ago. I started my presentation that day telling them that for a guy from the city, all this corn was just amazing to me; I had never been anywhere where, for as far as the eye could see was corn, corn, and more corn. I told them I thought it was amazing.

When our conversations turned to how the new translation might possibly shake people out of their ritual stupor, out of a sense of "rote" at Mass, this deacon said, "Look at what happened today. All of us see corn all the time, but Jerry came in here and said, 'Look at all this amazing corn!' This is so great.' Maybe the new words of the Mass will be like seeing corn for someone who never sees it as regularly as we do. Perhaps something that is so different for people who have been coming to Mass week after week will really wake them up and they will be in awe."

Corn, who knew? I thought this was a wise statement.

What do you think?

Feel free to comment.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Wonder in Iowa

Monday greetings to all.

What a whirlwind weekend. The drive out to Cedar Falls, Iowa on Friday took just over five hours. I had forgotten how beautiful western Illinois and eastern Iowa are. These two states are quite flat in most places, but the areas along the Mississippi are filled with hills and some beautiful vistas atop the ridges.

Saturday's session with the deacon community of the Archdiocese of Dubuque went quite well. There were others in attendance as well: people in ministry from the Archdiocese, as well as a religious sister from the Archdiocese of Omaha, and two monks from New Malleray Abbey, a Trappist community in eastern Iowa.

The session on the implementation of The Roman Missal, Third Edition, took place at Saint Gabriel Church in Reinbeck. Folks, for a city guy like me, the whole experience of this locale was eye-opening. On Saturday morning, I left my hotel and drive another twenty miles or so to Reinbeck. There is literally nothing but corn as far as the eye can see. As I drove, I waited and waited to find a house or the little town of Reinbeck. Then, over the crest of a small hill suddenly appeared Saint Gabriel's, a large fairly new Catholic Church sitting right in the middle of the corn fields. Here's photo I took of the exterior:


The interior was simple and beautiful. It had a large immersion baptism font. Some more photos:





The was the view looking outside of the church window:



Corn for a far as the eye could see.

Here's a quick shot I took of some of the great people who attended Saturday's event:



So, in this country setting about seventy of us talked about singing and praying the new translation. The deacons, their wives, and everyone else present were engaged in the process; they asked good questions, wrestling with the pastoral issues. Many of these deacons are the celebrants at places that may not be able to celebrate Mass every Sunday, due to the shortage of priests, so they will be praying some of the prayers from the missal at these celebrations in the absence of a priest. The participants did express concern about the very awkward sounding structure that begins many of the prayers, like this Collect from the Second Sunday of Lent:

O God, who have commanded us
to listen to your beloved Son,
be pleased, we pray,
to nourish us inwardly by your word,
that, with spiritual sight made pure,
we may rejoice to behold your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

They asked questions about this: Why does it sound like I am speaking improper English? Is this a mistake? Shouldn't there be a "you" placed before the "who"? Then some wondered aloud how the second sentence that begins "Through our Lord" can even be a sentence at all, since there is no subject and no predicate. Someone said that he was assuming that we were just supposed to add the words "We ask this" before "Through our Lord," since the way it appeared in the Missal made little sense grammatically.
Even with this kind of examination, most agreed that, with the right amount of practice and prayerful preparation, the prayers could be prayed well.


Folks, I was left wondering if this will eventually be the case with the new translation. Even though the kind of English that is prayed uses some archaic words, appears awkward and stilted in many places, has, in places a structure that impedes instant understanding, is it possible that, with practice and prayerful preparation celebrants might be able to pray these well anyway? And we might be able to be moved by them? To be frank, I am not sure. And I come to this conclusion because I have not yet had the experience of hearing these prayers at Mass. Will liturgical context make a difference? Does the collect for the Second Sunday of Advent actually prayed on that Sunday somehow have more potential power than it might have in a workshop in Iowa on a Saturday afternoon in August?

I am cautiously hopeful. More on my experience in Iowa tomorrow.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.