Fr. Adrian Fortescue on Dale-Baldeschi


From the 1st edition of the Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described: Dale-Baldeschi refers to Book describing the Roman Rite which was widely used before Fortescue’s own book came out. In fact Fortescue intended to correct/update Dale-Baldeschi … But in the end he just couldn’t:

So, with these reasons for rearranging the order of the
book, for adding large portions which it did not contain, for
writing again in English Dale’s magnificent Italian phrases,
for leaving out much that could never be wanted in this
country , finally the reasonable plan seemed to be to give up
any further attempt to correct Dale-Baldeschi, and frankly to
make a new book.

For instance in Dale you do not bow to the celebrant, you ” proceed
to make the customary salutation “; you do not stand, you “retain a
standing posture.” Everyone ” observes ” to do everything: you obsen’e
not to kneel, you observe to retain a kneeling posture. The M. C. does
not tell a man to do a thing, he apprizes him that it should be performed.
The celebrant ” terminates ” the creed; he genuflects in conjunction with
the sacred Ministers — then he observes to assume a standing posture in
conjunction with them. The M. C. goes about apprizing people and com-
porting himself till he observes to perform the customary salutation.
The subdeacon imparts the Pax in the same manner as it was com-
municated to him. Everyone exhibits a grave deportment. Imagine
anyone talking like this. Imagine anyone saying that you ought to
exhibit a deportment. Of course we have ” ascend ” every time, the
blessing is always “benediction,” harmful becomes” deleterious,” and
so on. Frankly, I do not think I have ever read a book written in so
atrocious a style. The only thing in its favour is that it is extremely
funny. However, since the book is meant to be serious, it is a pity that
someone did not apprize Dale to proceed to observe the customary use
of language, in conjunction with people who write English.

Who would ever have though that Reading a book on Rubrics and Ceremony could be entertaining? Fortescue is really a good and very readable author!

Fr. Gregory +

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About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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3 Responses to Fr. Adrian Fortescue on Dale-Baldeschi

  1. Eric says:

    Fr. Gregory,
    I agree – Fortescue is entertaining as is Lamburn (Ritual Notes).

  2. Eric says:

    I can’t deny that I am a geek… I’m about to devote an entire liturgical season on my blog to one prayerbook 🙂

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