Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Rubrics" and the Treasury of Daily Prayer

In the light of the previous discussions re. rubrics and hyper-ritualizing, I am a bit surprised to find extremely detailed instructions in the How to Use section of The Treasury of Daily Prayer.

"The ribbons are used, in the order and for the purposes as indicated in the list that follows. If you use this order, you are less likely to tangle the ribbons as you use the Treasury."

"Dark Green = marks the Church Year calendar section."
"Gold = marks the current day in the Church Year."
"Red = marks the order of prayer you are using (all orders are in the center of the book)."
"Purple = marks the additional prayers you may choose to use daily."
"Light Green = marks your place in the Psalms."
"Blue = marks "Prayers for the Baptized Life" or any place in the book of your choice."

There follows, then, "detailed, step-by-step" instructions on how to correctly insert the ribbons into the book, how to use them to (correctly) mark the appropriate sections of the book, and how to manipulate them during the recitation of the office.

What I found most amusing about this set of instructions is this statement: "If you use this order, you are less likely to tangle the ribbons...." This, I think, is the ultimate of hyper-ritualizing.

6 comments:

William Weedon said...

Naughty, naughty, Deacon! You wouldn't WANT to get your ribbons in knots, would you?

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

Well, Fr. W., us hyper-ritualizers don't like to be upstaged, don't ya know.

Scot K said...

Hello, Deacon.
Our thought was that a 1600 page book could be quite intimidating for the average lay person. The How to Use is akin the Quick Start guide provided with much of the technology sold these days -- it gets you in and able to do some basic navigation of the book and a devotion. Once in, the user can begin to explore and see what works best for their particular needs and patterns.
And knotted ribbons can be so discouraging, don't you agree?

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

"And knotted ribbons can be so discouraging, don't you agree?"

From this comment,it seems to me that the chief intent of this Quick Start guide is to insure that the end used never gets his ribbons in a knot. If one is intent upon his devotions, he will not be discouraged by a few tangled ribbons.

But now that you mentioned it, the Quick Start guide is incomplete re. the placement of the ribbons. Instructions should have been included directing that the ribbons should always be extended out of the open edge of the book and not drawn down along the spine. The former position permits one to life the pages at the marked location. The latter position almost always results in torn pages when trying to go to the marked place.

Perhaps an Erratum should be included with the book, don't you agree?

Paul McCain said...

Pretty lame and pathetic stuff. But, hyper-ritualists are amusing when they get all "defensive" about their chancel prancing gesticulations. Please continue!

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

Well, thank you! But now who is being defensive? Q.E.D.