Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 14 - Prague

Today started with a tour of Prague Castle, the Old Town and some other famous parts of Prague.  We left the hotel at 9 on our bus and after some driving around we were dropped off near Prague Castle.  We walked around the complex and visited the Cathedral of St. Vitus -- we sang Non Nobis.  From there we walked around the perimeter and saw the gardens, then headed down the hill.  We went by the American embassy (it was closed for the holiday, of course) and sang our nice arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner in front as an Independence Day tribute.  Locals came out and took pictures :-).  From there we walked through a small church near the river, then over the Charles Bridge and back eventually to Wenceslaus Square near our hotel.  We had free time for lunch.

At 3 p.m. we left the hotel and walked over to the square for a group photo, then on the bus and back up pretty much where we were dropped off this morning.  From the drop off we had to walk up a significant hill and through some grounds to get to the church.  My feet were not happy :-(.

The St. Laurence church is quite small.  It's an Old Catholic church, which was surprising to me since I hadn't realized that was the case (I thought it was a Catholic church).  We met up with the event coordinator and the bishop, then we started rehearsing for the Mass and concert.  Between the Chorale and our roadies we took up just over half the pews in the church!

Mass started at 5 p.m. and we were warmly welcomed by the priest who was concelebrating the Mass with the bishop (the priest was the only English speaker).  We sang our usual Mass parts (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei), though I'm pretty sure we sang the Kyrie as the opening hymn and the Gloria as the psalm (it seemed to me to be a daily mass, not a longer feast day (one reading only)).

After Mass we had about 10 minutes, then we started the concert.  We sang:
  • The Star-Spangled Banner (split)
  • Verbum Caro Factum Est (split)
  • Beati Quorum Via
  • Abendlied
  • Zahucaly Hori
  • Aka Si Mi Krasna
  • Hombe
  • Wasn't That A Wonder
  •  Cornerstone
  • I've Been In the Storm So Long (Ann solo)
  • Were You There?
  • Battle of Jericho
  • Praise to the Lord (split)
  • Ain'a That Good News (split) (encore)
The church was a delight to sing in.  It was very live, but since it was so small there was almost no reverb time.  Even very soft singing was clearly heard.  I especially thought that Were You There? was perhaps the best we've ever sung it.  Alas I had a small goof on Beati Quorum Via that kind of spoiled it for me a bit.  Oh well!

After the concert we took another group photo (everyone, not just the choir) and Cindy introduced us to her relatives that live in Prague.  Then the long walk back and we were on the bus back to the hotel.

Tomorrow is a free day for us, capped off with our group dinner.  Sunday we leave verrrry early for our 6:30 a.m. flight to Amsterdam and then home.

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