From a reader…
What do you think of a priest who by reason of not able to find the Preface of Christ the King uses the the Common Preface instead in a mass for the Solemnity of Christ the King?
What do I think of such a priest? I gather that you want me to be negatively critical about him.
First, I don’t have enough information. Hence, I imagine that Father is, say, 92 years of age, with cataracts. As his arthritic hands tremble with effort, he flips through a few pages, peering in vain. Finally, because in his priestly heart he doesn’t want to keep the people in the pews who have to rush home after work to feed their hungry children, he uses the Common Preface.
So, what do you think of Father?
It is a good custom and discipline before Mass for the priest to check the Missal in the sacristy before it goes out to the sanctuary.
Just as a carpenter needs to know his way around the tools of his trade, just as the scholar needs to know the location of important reference books in library, so too the priest should know his way around the books and instruments, such as the Ordo, for sacred liturgical worship – his main and most important activity.
It is a good idea once in a while to re-familiarize oneself with these books, to spend time paging through them, getting to know them well.