Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Biblia Antica

I have to say, one of the greatest pleasures of my life is a second hand bookshop.

I swear I don't mean to buy so many books. In fact, I think sometimes I don't even buy them. They just sense my presence and come floating out of the shop and stick to me as I walk past.

As you can see, the library is growing.

An Old English Parish is a wonderful book by English ecclesiologist J. Charles Wall who tells us all about day to day life as a Catholic in the days when England was still Merrie.

The book itself, published in 1907, is one of those of which we must say we shall not see its like again. We can no longer make them, for all our sophisticated software. You will know what I mean when I say that it is heavier than it looks, with smooth creamy paper and typeface that digs into the surface so that you can feel it as you run your finger along a line.

It is in so many ways, a treasure of the past, bound and illustrated in a way that we simply can no longer reproduce. If you see a copy, buy it.

Plus it has lots of pictures. If I ever get round to writing a book, I will insist it has pictures.

(I'm sorry about the fuzziness. I can't manually adjust the focus on my little camera and it doesn't like extreme closeups. But maybe we can just imagine that it is due to looking so far back in the past.)

What fascinated me was the number of practices that have survived almost unchanged in our Christian culture.

Can you guess which part of the Mass this is? Look carefully, through the fog, at what the congregation is doing with their hands.


Anonymous said...

The Priest, in the meanwhile, is facing east and reading the Gospel to God, in praise of His noble acts, rather than to the congregation.


DP said...

You don't have a problem.

And I agree: used bookshops are proof positive that God loves us dearly.

Ttony said...

Guess what I found once you'd told me what to look for!

Many thanks for the tip.