Thursday, June 09, 2011

What to do with an old missal?


Back in May there was a thread on the Pray, Tell blog about disposing of old missals which has had me thinking. As you will see on that thread the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship said that old missals should be buried in church grounds or in a parish cemetery. The problem arises as the missal is often blessed. Fr Ruff adds:

The BCDW recommends burying the old sacramentary on church grounds or in a parish cemetery. Other possibilities are placing the liturgical book in the coffin of a deceased person, as is done in various Eastern Churches, as a sign of the person’s devotion to the liturgy. One could also do ‘cremation’ (my term, not theirs) and bury the ashes on church grounds.

I must admit I hadn`t thought about this. As you will see in the picture our missal is rather tatty. In fact it isn`t used. A previous PP bought the American Sacramentary and that is what we use on the altar. What I like about it is that the sung prefaces are placed alongside the unsung version which I find quite useful.

However I was brought up at Ushaw on stories of priests after the Council burning missals and antique vestments or throwing them on skips. Having been back to St Cuthbert`s school, Newcastle, a few years ago for an exhibition on the history of the school where some of the old vestments were put out on display I was surprised at how uninspiring they were. I do occasionally see a good vestment which I am told was rescued from a skip.

Much as I would like to remove all memory of the current translation I notice that in this parish we still have the 1959 altar missal which I use for daily morning Mass. No-one threw it away. I recently found all the parish altar cards too at the back of a cupboard. No-one had thrown away this rather run down altar missal too. I suspect I won`t be burying any missals although I`m slightly tempted. Maybe we should keep them lest we forget....

11 comments:

FrankE said...

"I suspect I won`t be burying any missals although I`m slightly tempted. Maybe we should keep them lest we forget."

Keep them sealed in a box with a warning label attached!

kenmiles said...

Glad to see you are still celebrating the early morning latin mass father.
All my good wishers, Ken.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Yes it goes on Ken although we miss having you serve. Hope you are well.

kenmiles said...

Just waiting for a small operation. We have a latin mass here in Cork on Sundays so I am not without one altogether.
Best wishes to everyone there, Ken.

David O'Neill said...

Ken now in Cork??
Re the missals; I suspect that those in better condition could be donated to the LMS as they are so difficult (& expensive) to come by

Peter Sharples said...

I have an altar missal that was recovered from the Ushaw tip in 1975. The missal was one of a large number, many students with a room overlooking the tip, got one. I was slow to get down there, so one lad gave me one of the two that he had.

Fr. Francis Wadsworth said...

I am proposing to keep one just as a reminder of how bad it was and then on the First Sunday of Advent have a Missal Burning Party!!! (PS does one wear a purple cope for penance or a white cope signifying joy?)

Malcolmt said...

Isn't the modern trend to put things on E-Bay?

1569 Rising said...

Father,

Off topic, but EF Pastor Emeritus, and the Diocesan Web Site has interesting news about Ushaw. Since my main concern was what was going to happen to the buildings, Library etc, I am pleased that, if the reports are correct,Ushaw will remain intact and in Catholic hands.

I know Traditionalists would have liked it to continue as a Seminary, but the costs would have been so great that none of the Trad. Orders could have afforded it.

A combination of the University, English Heritage and the County Council is obviously the way to go.

Interesting that Bishop Davies has been the one making the running. You were right about him!

FrankE said...

David O'Neill said...
Re the missals; I suspect that those in better condition could be donated to the LMS as they are so difficult (& expensive) to come by

David - I think Fr is referring to OF missals...

ScepticalBeliever said...

Probably like many others I have been wondering just what it is this blog thread has been about. Getting rid of what missals: the Extraordinary Form ones or the Ordinary Form ones? I think we should be told!