"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Monday, January 1, 2018

Matthew Monday: My Little Drummer Boy

I’ve mentioned that Matthew is in the children’s choir at our parish, St. Rita’s Church, and there has been a tradition that the choir performs a little children’s concert on Christmas Eve, and in the past the choir has performed “Little Drummer Boy” with one boy playing the drums.  Well that boy has graduated and Matthew is the only boy in the children’s choir, and he so desired to take the mantle of the drummer for the song.

So you would think the choir would practice this at least a few times before the performance?  The music director planned to practice it twice, but she forgot the drum sticks for the first practice, and so all that was left was one practice.  As it turned out I went early to pick Matthew up at that practice and heard his first attempts.  Matthew kept screwing up. He's supposed to keep time for most of the song but his impulse is to go with the rum-pum-pum pum rhythm of the choir. And to make it more complicated on the third verse he is supposed to shift and join the rum-pum-pum pum, and then return to the slow beat for conclusion. Yikes, that's a bit much for an eight year old, and he only practiced it once. So we practiced it all weekend at home.

He had three performances altogether: The Christmas Eve concert with the children’s choir, with the adult choir at the 10:30 Christmas Day Mass as the communion hymn, and at the 12:30 Christmas Day Mass back with the children’s choir again during the communion hymn.  I videoed the first and third performances, and as it turned out the one I didn’t video was the flawless one.  Though I he played slightly better for the third performance, I think the video of the first came out better, so that’s the one I’ll post.

So here’s Matthew on the drums with the children’s choir on “Little Drummer Boy.”

I have to admit, I love that song, even though it’s kind of schmaltzy.  I always choke up on the first time I hear it during each Christmas season.  The thought of having nothing to give Jesus but one’s talent as best as one can perform is very touching.

After the third performance, the pastor mentioned Matthew by name and he got a round of applause. 

By the way, our altar was beautifully decorated with a new nativity set, I decided to take a picture. 

It’s a small, humble church, but we’re proud of it.


  1. Well done, Matthew. Bravo.

    You know Manny, looking at the video and the photo you posted, it's amazing how many things we have in common between the US and UK. We too, had the nativity scene at the same place, with the same type of red and white plants, the Christmas tree and we have similar statues too.

    Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy and hopeful New Year.

    God bless.

    1. So you think it's different in Catholic churches other than US and UK? The only Catholic churches outside the US I've been to are in Italy, and they didn't look different. I wasn't there at Christmas, though.

      Catholic actually means Universal. I think, though I'm guessing, Catholic churches are pretty much the same all over the world.

      Happy New Year to you too Victor.

  2. I love this!! Congrats Matthew on a job well done. Hope your family had a very Merry Christmas and that the New Year will be one of peace and love for you and your entire family!


    1. Thanks Sue. I wish Jeanette would stop by. She would love to see that. I should give her a call. She called me around Christmas and we were out. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. Wow that was great! I admire his level headedness. It can be so easy to let nerves mess you up- he really stayed with it!
    Your church is beautiful.
    I love the message of that song as well.

    1. Matthew is a lot cooler under pressure than I ever was as a kid, and probably still as an adult. Thanks Kelly.

  4. Where do I start Manny? Seeing that me, myself and iii snuck in again... I'll go straight to the end and say...

    This is a beautiful down to earth seasonal post. Your church looks very Christmas like and it certainly appears like Matthew is being well taken care of in your Catholic Parish...

    Long story short... I'm certain that Saint Rita is spiritually taking good care of Matthew and all other children of GOD (Good Old Dad).

    May God' Angels continue to smile and keep you, your friends and family healthy, safe and happy through this entire 2018 year.

    1. Thank you Victor. We are happy with St. Rita's, both the school and the parish. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.