Service of Being Cut Off at the Pass
May 22nd, 2014
Categories: Cut Off at the Pass, Music, Religion
Last Sunday Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Deacon Kevin McCormack mentioned on their radio program, “Religion on the Line,” that there were no clergy at the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum dedication.
This was an unusual omission, they observed. They reminded listeners of the interfaith memorial service organized by clergy at Yankee Stadium a dozen days after the attack. It was meant to help heal. So what had changed since the citizens of the New York metro area–and the country–craved spiritual support?
I didn’t watch the museum’s opening ceremonies and wasn’t aware of this, though I was surprised to hear it, given that prayers or spiritual thoughts are often a part of memorials at a graveyard.
What came immediately to mind? This scene, a total conjecture: The event planners thought of everything and someone influential came in at the last minute, cut off at the pass their arrangements regarding clergy participation and made a crucial change based on a snap decision. It’s happened to me and to others all the time and in all sorts of ways—not just at events.Leonard Bernstein did it to Aaron Copland. In the Bard College Conservatory of Music notes in Sunday’s program, Peter Laki, visiting associate professor of music, quoted Bernstein writing Copland about the latter’s Symphony No. 3: “Sweetie, the end is a sin. You’ve got to change [it].” Laki continued: “Bernstein proceeded to cut 10 measures from the concluding section.” Laki wrote that the cut version became standard, but that on Sunday the audience would hear the last movement as Copeland wrote it. It was glorious.
Lionel, a fictional character on the British comedy “As Time Goes By” suffers indignity and fits as his script–and life–are cut to shreds and then foolishly built up by a California TV production crew.
Back to real life when John McCain ran for President, Senator Joe Lieberman was his first choice of vice president but the Republican Party axed that plan. You know the rest.
Has something you’ve planned, written or designed been cut off at the pass? What was the result? Why do you think that the clergy of any stripe was omitted from the 9/11 Memorial Museum dedication?