Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Guild Guitar, A Folk Mass and A Full Circle

The guitar above is my 1970 cherry-stained mahogany Guild D-25 acoustic guitar purchased used in a music store in Morristown NJ in 1972 by a 14 year old Dylan wanna-be. I used this guitar playing in folk Masses in high school and college as well as our Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at Moravian College. Though I left the Church in my heart in 1973, my parents still required my attendance so playing guitar in the folk Mass was one way that made it less painful.
If I had to go to Mass, at least I could be doing something I liked. I didn't receive the Eucharist by the grace of God, something inside me told me I shouldn't.

This was my main performing guitar and I wrote and recorded many songs on it (including Footsteps) until I finally saved up enough money to buy a new Martin D41 in 1993. This was a belated wedding present from my late wife that I never purchased until 6 months before she died. We were married for almost 12 years but I never felt I could justify the purchase though she had given me a check for it on our wedding day! I still kept the Cherry Guild using it from time to time for alternate tunings but mostly played my Martin(s).(You can't buy just one!)

Prodigal Daughter and I do some speaking for Catholics at youth groups, confirmation classes etc, and recently were asked to provide music for a Mass and speak to the confirmation candidates about our journey from and back to the Catholic faith. I almost said no because I hadn't played in Mass since 1978! I knew only contemporary worship songs from my years as a worship musician in the charismatic churches and had much apprehension about playing for Mass again. I chose three songs, changed the words a bit to reflect Eucharistic theology (Sorry Michael W. Smith) and practiced them for several days with Prodigal Daughter.

The woman who invited us to speak was a girl I went to college with who always remained a faithful Catholic. I had a research lab next to hers in the biology department and some late nights were spent discussing, the Kreb cycle , unrequited love and occasionally spirituality. I remember thinking what a sweet and wholesome girl this was, feeling badly that she was Catholic and didn't know the Lord! (Sorry KM) I hadn't spoken to her since 1979 but she heard through a Christian bookstore that I had returned to the Church and looked me up.

As we prepared to leave the house to go up to her Church yesterday, on the spur of the moment, I decided to bring my old Guild Guitar that I last played in a Catholic Church in 1978. As we sang during the Mass for the Introit, Communion and Recessional, my heart was in my throat as I looked down at the Tabernacle. Jesus was redeeming the years that I had rebelled against this Church that I have now come to love. Thank you God for you kindness and mercy to allow me to offer praise to you with the old guitar of my youth. I have come full circle.

12 Comments:

Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Ah! No wonder you didn't know what I was talking about! I had asked you a few months ago about the Gibson guitar you played in college; I had forgotten it was a Guild. And here it is! Boy, does that ever bring back memories--some of them good! Ha ha!

May 21, 2007 9:26 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Yes, I remember sitting on that hard walnut cabinet in the John Antes Room of Moravian College singing "Jubilate Deo" as a round, "He is Alive", and "Lion of Judah." Trying to find our way as new converts making lots of mistakes along the way but kept by His grace. Ah good times, good times....

May 21, 2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger onionboy said...

OK, bucko, but if you are fixin to be the nest haugen n' Hass I'm gonna have to trade your CDs in.

May 21, 2007 10:12 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"Here we are, all together as we sing our songs joyfully..."

Don't worry O Great Onion!
My gifts seem to not lie in liturgical prose.

May 21, 2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Perhaps not in Liturgical prose but in songs that touch the hearts of those who have asked the Lord to help their disbelief.

What was the title of the song that you sang last nite? And are we able to get the lyrics, or get a hold of a recording?

May 22, 2007 12:12 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Kathleen, thanks so much!
If you go to my March 18th blog post in the archives it will be there, free for the download. I'll put it up again as a post as well.
Wait till you see today's post!

May 22, 2007 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

Do you remember singing Kum-ba-ya? :)

May 23, 2007 12:33 AM  
Blogger MMajor Fan said...

That Guild D-25 is a beauty! How nice that you shared this post with those pictures and thoughts. I used to collect guitars (notice I said collect, not play lol, I'm rightfully modest about my mostly non existent guitar skills lol.) I played a Gibson Hummingbird and loved it's beauty and tone, though it was a little wide for me or maybe I just stick out too much ha ha. My favorite is my paisley 1968 Telecaster. It and my other remaining instruments are in storage, being in a small apartment in unsettled circumstances. Though I have an Irish harp and just bought a small Taylor guitar, just because a place seems empty without a stringed instrument.

May 23, 2007 3:37 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I got a baby Taylor my wife gave me as a anniversary present. Not the same as a real one but definitely a nice guitar, though I am fairly partial to martin's. I live 30 minutes from the factory and play out with guys who work there.
Irish Harp is my next instrument to learn, someday..
Thanks for the comment!

May 23, 2007 8:29 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

cyndi:
Yeah, I played Kumbaya, and another overplayed song, "they will know we are Christians by our love." Using a minor key to sing about a positive concept, little weird but it worked!(I think)

May 23, 2007 8:31 AM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

(Now) Father Bernie used to whistle all the hymns in a minor key. My (now) wife and I always loved that!

May 23, 2007 12:17 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

One thing I just found out today because I don't really keep up with these things is that Gibson owns Baldwin Pianos, I suppose as of a couple of years ago. Gibson just announced the consolidation of all its piano divisions, including the one in China. Baldwin manufactures pianos under the name Baldwin, Wurlitzer, Hamilton, Howard and D.H. Baldwin.

June 02, 2007 2:27 PM  

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