The new book is quite informative and, I must say it, amusing.
For example, I have learned more about "eyes". We all know that when moving about during Mass priests ought to keep their eyes cast down piously. However, on. p. 377 I learned that when it comes time to read a text from a book, our eyes should, well, look at the book.
There is more too this… O Lord here it come, than meets the eye, especially for those clerics who like to make up their own prayers or who think they know the words. I think this fits nicely with the old adage
Do The Red
On p. 405 I have been affirmed in my own practice, having been taught well from the beginning. "At the consecration of the wine one must take care not to bring the mouth or the nose too close to the cup of the chalice. At the two elevations it is necessary to see to it that the Host and the chalice are over the corporal and perpendicular to it."
Hmmm… see anything wrong with the picture on the front of the book? (FYI…. it’s on the right.)
The book instructs us how to stand up and sit down. If you think that is nothing special, watch what priests do these days.
There is a good section on what I have coined "birettiqette" (pp. 379-382) and how to put on your clothes.
The über-picky stuff is in the business about calculating time and dates and in the order of precedence various get to claim from (or concede to) each other. Whew! Still, I learned a long time ago about the super-flowery curial style of letters I used of have to write, stuff like, "We are pleased to communicate the receipt of Your Most Reverend and Most Eminent Lord’s highly esteem page under date of …. blah blah blah…. opportune…. blub blurb… " This style of letter allows people who don’t like each other to do business together and not leave ugly tracks. So too with things like precedence: when there are rules, things stay smooth. And the pickier the better.
I learned a few interesting principles about what constitutes desecration of an altar. Everyone knows that if the table is broken, it is desecrated. However, the little stone covering the relics in the "tomb" inset in the altar’s table might come loose over time and that doesn’t desecrate the altar. A priest can cement it in again. If it is purposely removed by anyone but the bishop or his delegate for the purpose of inspection of the relics, even if the relics are left in the little "tomb", the altar is desecrated. Also, if a the table of a fixed altar is detached from its stand, even for an instant, even if it is not removed, it is desecrated. The editor here inserts a comment in brackets that this is the case of many altars which were detached from walls and moved forward. They were never reconsecrated. That means, according to the editor, that one should not say Mass on them until they are reconsecrated. The whole altar, table firmly attached to the stand, can be moved without being desecrated. So, the principal is that the mensa and its stand constitute one piece and if they are separated, they lose their consecration. Another principal is the intention with which the integrity of the "tomb" is violated. Desecration of a church doesn’t result in desecration of the altar.
I’m not sure about the newer legislation on this. My books are in the USA. However, that is the way it was back in the day.
The saga continues.