Senseless "sense lines"

I heartily agree with the principles put forward by Shawn Tribe of the New Liturgical Movement in the Proposal for the Internal Design and Layout of the Roman Missal of the Ordinary Form. You can see example pages at the Scribd file. Double columns, drop caps, page borders, line art headings - all good - and why on earth not?

Well one answer to that is the imposition of "sense lines" - which gives me the opportunity to absolve the CTS of any fault. In this post, I mean no criticism of the beautiful book that they have produced and which I have enthusiastically purchased.

But the CTS are bound by the demands of some body (ICEL? the Bishops? the CDW?) and must print all the prayers out

in a way
that someone
who does not read
very well
can follow
with his finger,
even if there are
as many as forty-three words
in the sentence,
and say the prayer
into the radio microphone
like a badly-formed haiku.

Apart from the obviously infantilising nature of "sense lines", Shawn has hit upon a good argument that might cause Bishops, the Pope, ICEL, the CDW or whoever, to relax the imposition of this fatuous restriction: SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT!.

If missals could be printed
in double columns
with drop caps,
they would only use
about half the paper
that is required
to print our prayers
in sense lines.

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