A flash from the past…

While working on a WDTPRS article for the paper, I rediscovered something I wrote some years back.  I thought some of you might enjoy it….

With all the gorgeous prayers from various ancient Latin sacramentaries at our disposal, was it really necessary to cobble a new one together like that?  Wait!  I am having a vision of the scene back in the 1960’s…. 

In a dark room lined with metal jammed bookshelves and cabinets stuffed with files of notes, an articulated lamp strains with its stingy 40 watts to produce a pool of light on a paper stacked table.  The rolling chair supporting a bespectacled cleric, squeaks as he shifts.  His scrambled gray hair is thinning and during the night he must have tugged the collar of his too-long worn cassock open around his skinny neck.

Monsignore is a professor at a Roman university and a prized consultant for Annibale Bugnini’s Consilium

Monsignor has drunk the Kool-Aid. 

He riffles the pages of good-ole Leo Cunibert Mohlberg’s edition of the Sacramentarium Veronense with rapt attention, occasionally jotting down phrases on slips of paper.  His consultation complete, he squeaks forward to the table.

Uttering a prayer to the Holy Ghost, he begins to slide the slips around. 

He rearranges them, and gazes, and tries again, substituting now this one and that one in practiced curves until, … EUREKA!  a new Super Oblata emerges ouija-like from out the depths of research and inspiration. 

“Hmmm “heúreka”, perfect of heúrisko….”,  he mumbles and drags closer the manual typewriter he scrimped to purchase, lo many decades ago, for his doctoral dissertation on the dative case in the Liber Sacramentorum Augustodunensis

Clack, clackity, ding, zzzip… clack clack, he whacks together his new prayer footnoting the source references for a future edition of the fontes of the Missale Romanum

One day WDTPRS readers will need them on a weekly basis. 

“Grazie, O Signore!” he beams at the framed print of the Crucified Jesus on the wall over his little metal framed bed.  

The tiny window suggests the approaching dawn, but zeal for the Council consumes him. 

“Now, what to do with the Twenty-Eighth Sunday?” he muses. 

Scanning a shelf, his red-rimmed eyes linger over yellowing notes on the Gregorian Sacramentary.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mark says:

    Lol, wow. You should get a blog or something ;)

  2. wsxyz says:

    But 40 watts is that big fat bulb with the double spiral that lights up the whole room!

  3. Legisperitus says:

    It’s just like being there, only better… because you’re not there!

  4. Maynardus says:

    Oh, for a WABAC machine and a baseball bat!

  5. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Does Dr. Who (Tom Baker Era, of course) show up with Romana in the next scene to thwart this cosmic terrorist?!

  6. Wm: No, but I think K-9 is somehow involved. I know Davros is.

  7. Immaculatae says:

    I see he consumed the kool-aid. A lot of that has been going around. :)

  8. Andrew, medievalist says:

    LOL. The whole thing reads like a preview for Dan Brown’s latest tale of dark deeds in the Vatican.

    Wait a minute…Fictional interpretations of the Council foisted on people; huge fight-back against those delving into the truth; Latin…we’re LIVING Mr Brown’s novel of the Council.

  9. Tom in NY says:

    Liturgiam sacerdotemque cano, Romae qui primus ab oris….
    aut, invehendo,
    Quo usque tandem abutere, perite, liturgia nostra?
    aut, ex lingua germanica,
    Spiritus in Europa emanit…

    Salutationes omnibus visuris.

  10. Fr. Aidan Logan says:

    If only such “experts” had contented themselves with a supplement to the Missale Romanum containing a judicious selection from ancient sources of prefaces and prayers! Because of their prideful conviction that they could do better than tradition they produced a reaction that will put of for at least another generation, if not indefinitely, the enrichment of the liturgy actually intended by Vatican II.

  11. Romulus says:

    Der Inn fließt in den Tiber.

  12. DarkKnight says:


    No mention of Masonic ceremonial manuals to promote cross-liturgical harmony? How will we be able to tell the “secret truth the Church keeps hidden” without Masonic Degreework?

    We’ll never be able to get Dan Brown interested in this story without the Masons. Ooh, I know Monsignor has an albino librarian/archaeologist/liturgist/body servant/monk that is secretly the Grand Master of Europe’s Masonic empire.

    There, that should do it, now Hollywood will be able to get out the true story of the Council.

  13. ssoldie says:

    Gosh! sounds more to me like what Wm. Biersach would be putting in a new book. Anybody out there read ‘The Endless Knot’,’The Darkness Did Not’.I am into ‘While The Eyes Of The Great Are Elsewhere’, enjoying all of them. Put out by Tumbler House.

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