14 December 2005

The How-To Book of the Mass

I was poking around the Internet a few days ago when I cam across this book, The How-To Book of the Mass. Since it promises on its cover "Everything you need to know but no one ever taught you," I was very excited. You see, despite having attended multiple confirmation classes on my way across the Tiber, they have yet to cover all the crucial details of how to participate in the mass. Most of what I have learned has just come about through regular attendance and sly glances at neighbors to see what they are doing and attempting to follow suit. So, I had hoped I had finally found a book that would give me all the answers I needed.

I haven't read much of it yet, but I think I have mixed feelings about it. Certain things I wanted to know are there (like does one bow/genuflect towards the altar or the tabernacle: as it turns out, it depends), but the text does not reproduce the text of the liturgy except in certain places, so it makes it a little hard to follow.

Perhaps I am being premature. I should probably read it to find out how helpful it will be. But there are many things that I want to see/do at mass, and don't know if the protocol for doing them is the same as in a good ol' high Anglican church. Can one make a profound bow to the processional cross? I have yet to see a Catholic do this, but the Episcops do it all the time.

If anyone else has read this and has an opinion or has read something of similar nature that they have found helpful, of course, let me know.

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