top of page

From The Organ Bench - No. 12 of 14

How long does it take to install a pipe organ in a church?

Before a pipe organ is installed in a church, it is set up in the builder’s erecting room. Afterward, the organ is dismantled, carefully packed, and loaded onto tractor-trailers. Upon arrival, parishioners, young and old, are waiting at the church to help unload the trucks. We are told it is a day of rejoicing, thankfulness, and grand excitement. It then takes about three weeks to install the organ.

After the organ is installed and we have returned to the church, each single pipe must be meticulously voiced. Voicing is the process of fine-tuning every note of every rank of pipe, one by one, so that it fits the room’s acoustics perfectly. During this time, we will continue to use our electronic organ. The organist of Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in Raleigh told me that they used an electronic organ after the new cathedral was opened for worship while their new Fisk organ was being made. It was decided to not tell parishioners on which weekend the new organ would first be played. When that weekend arrived, the electronic organ was used to perform the prelude but on the processional hymn the new pipe organ began playing. The organist said that more than 1,000 people turned around with their jaws on the floor. I pray we can have that same experience one day. St. Joseph, pray for us!


bottom of page