Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Enjoying using the new books
Unpacking my new Missals, I had the flippant thought that it was like Mummy Missal, Daddy Missal and baby Missal. As everyone has said, the CTS has done a fine job in producing books of excellent quality, worthy for use in the Sacred Liturgy. The Study Edition is particularly useful at the moment when we are finding our way around the ordinary, the propers and the commons.
Having used the Missals for a few days now, I am getting used to the page turns. For the moment, I still need to have the text for the "I confess" and the "Gloria": although in England we have been using the texts since September, it will be a few more weeks before I can confidently say them by heart.
What I should do (and writing this reminds me) is to sit down and learn them off by heart. This exercise has almost vanished from modern education but is worthwhile. Fr Reggie Foster often used to quote Cicero's warning: memoria minuitur nisi eam exerceas (the memory diminishes - unless you exercise it.)
As with many popular quotations, this is actually truncated. The text from Cicero's Cato Maior de Senectute 7.21 reads: At memoria minuitur. Credo, nisi eam exerceas, aut etiam si sis natura tardior. (But [it is alleged] the memory diminishes. I agree: if you do not exercise it, or also if you are by nature somewhat dull.)
The new Missals came last week. The courier firm tried to deliver them several weeks ago when I was away and I didn't get round to rearranging the delivery - I had them dropped to the school and picked them up from there. I find that for a priest living alone, the delivery of parcels is one of the more annoying day-to-day administrative problems. If I were to order £40 worth of groceries online, I could specify a one hour delivery slot and have them delivered free. If I'm ordering several hundred pounds worth of other goods, it's "between 8.30am and 6.30pm" or similar. Anyway it is great to have them at last.