Friars’ Passions – 4 O Praise Him with Sound of Trumpet
I first started playing the trumpet when I was 10 years old, and from the age of 13, I started playing at church for special feasts such as Christmas and Easter. I’ve always felt a great honour in being allowed to praise God and glorify His name in this way.
From a young age, I’ve found the music of JS Bach very inspiring. Works such as the Magnificat, the Mass in B minor and the Christmas Oratorio contain so much joy. As I was growing up, I told myself that one day I would be able to play these pieces. I saved up my pocket money to buy a piccolo trumpet, but I remember the disappointment in discovering that this instrument didn’t make Bach instantly playable. The years went by, and I kept telling myself ‘maybe next year I’ll have the range and endurance to play the Christmas Oratorio.’
I haven’t performed these pieces in public yet, but I’d love to have the opportunity to play them in their proper liturgical setting.
The struggles I’ve had with playing the trumpet seem to mirror some of the struggles I’ve had with being a Catholic. Having to recognise there are times when I’m wrong, having to put aside whatever prevents me from flourishing, having to look to the lives of other people for inspiration. Some ways of doing things are better than others and human reason can help us to decide which. But there may also be times when we just have to let go of our ideological baggage and embrace something without fully understanding it. As Jesus says, ‘come and see’.