Last week after Carl returned home from the hospital, we got a message on the blog from the mother of the patient across the hall.
Aloha Kathy and Carl,
It was good to see [you] at Straub across the hall from my son just before the hurricane day. I’m glad to know that you are back home now. My son just returned to his old room today and nurse Jennie wheeled a cart with drawers into the room. In the drawer was a book that probably the staff assumed was a Bible, but it is The Liber Usualis and has your nametag inside. I told Jennie I would see that it is returned to you. If you will email me your address, I’ll be glad to put it in the mail or else bring it to you, whichever you prefer. Best wishes to both of you, Anne Flanigan.
How lucky we are that Anne recognized what this book is and mailed it back to us! In fact the price of this book on Amazon ranges from $114.79 (new) to $324.99 (used)! Those of you who are not in the “church music business,” might be interested in reading this description of the Liber Usualis from Wikipedia:
This 1,900-page book contains most versions of the ordinary chants for the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei), as well as the common chants for the Divine Office (daily prayers of the Church) and for every commonly celebrated feast of the Church Year (including more than two hundred pages for Holy Week alone). The “usual book” or “common book” also contains chants for specific rituals, such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, ordinations, and benediction. This modal, monophonic Latin music has been sung in the Catholic Church since at least the sixth century and through the present day.
Carl, ever the person “in charge,” is putting together the Requiem Mass (Mass for the Dead). We have already contracted the singers, and I joked, “Well, Carl, are you going to rehearse the choir, too?!”
Even Father Raymond, sent by St. Francis hospice, remarked at what a churchman Carl is and must have been when he saw both the Liber Usualis and the Daily Missal on the nearby table.
We do enjoy visits as long as they are kept short (about 20 minutes), but please call me first so that I can fit you in the schedule. People have asked what they could do for us — food is always welcome as we feed a number of visitors, and it saves us from leaving Carl to go to the grocery store.
What a change this has been for him! Carl has always been the perfect host —now the roles are reversed.