I have played with various organs during my lifetime:
1. The pipe organ at St. Patrick Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa taught under Sister Mary Madelene, I played regular Masses – Requiem, High Masses, funeral and wedding and memorial Masses. The biggest deal was at Christmastime, or at funerals or weddings.
Or – miracle of miracles – on the times when someone paid us money for a ceremony (because that wasn’t usually done in those days).
2. The electric organ at Mount Mercy Academy in 1947-52 in Cedar Rapids, iowa. I helped pay my tuition at that school while fingering the keys under direction of Sister Mary de Lourdes. I was a really awful organist, but somehow, they put with me.
All of which is by way of bringing up the following story:
A minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.
“Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But, you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”
During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”
At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star Spangled Banner.”
And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!