Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Rare books 9: Latin Liturgies Large and Small.



Here are three examples. The Canon of the Mass, otherwise known as the Anaphora, or Eucharistic Prayer that follows Sanctus in the Roman Rite. (Rome, 1807) Notes: Bound in crimson morocco, rubricated throughout, with the service set out in large print two columns per page, this altar book of the Mass is a breeze. At 34 centimetres in height, the book qualifies as a folio (30 cm.), to be shelved accordingly in the Rare Books Room. Although not required by the rules, there is an inclination to add notes for devices, ornaments, engravings of Gospel scenes, and other distinguishing features, though this cataloguer avoids listing scorch marks from candles that obliterated parts of the concluding antiphon. Propers for a Requiem Mass (pages lxxvij-[xcv]) plus the Anaphora (pages 213-224, 181-182), bound together. (Sine loco but probably Rome, possibly 1733) Notes: Not a breeze. This homegrown production consists of two parts of the Mass for the Dead ripped unceremoniously from other liturgical books, then bound together for ceremonial use. High evidence of human and insect activity. Tabs pasted for practical access of priest, with glue antithetical to cloth paper. Random gatherings of leaves. Cover long separated from the contents it was intended to protect. 1733 pencilled on the fly-leaf, maybe by someone who knew the vintage of the dingbats and drop caps, but no date is printed on any of the pages. Is it 1733? Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, or the Latin Office for Holy Week, or more prosaically a Carmelite breviary. (Rome, 1857) Notes: A copy is held in the General Collection, but this one is preserved in Rare Books because it is the personal copy of the parish priest of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park, Fr Joseph Kindelan. His handwriting on the first blank page tells its own story of progression: “Jos. A. Kindelan OCC 56 Aungier St Dublin 1891. Gawler 9th Aug 1897. Port Adelaide 1902. Melbourne Nov. 17th 03.” After Fr Kindelan died, on St Patrick’s Day 1926, Middle Park parishioners carried out the suggestion made by Archbishop Daniel Mannix at the funeral by completing the new church as a memorial to him. It was opened in 1927.

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