The “Rubrica Clara” memo – leaked

Here is a Confidential Memo to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship from the head of the advisory commission Rubrica Clara.

Pray Tell will never reveal the source of the leak.


  1. The Vatican’s performance is already so funny that humorists and satirists are at a loss how to proceed. A David Lodge could have a field day here. Let’s be careful, though, not to content ourselves with ridiculing the ridiculous. Analysis of the root causes of what has gone wrong is necessary as well.

    1. We’ve been doing lots of analysis, Mr. O’Leary. This is just plain funny for funny’s sake, and that’s not a bad thing sometimes.

  2. Even had this “memo” not been directed TO Vox Clara, everyone would know that it could not have come FROM Vox Clara. The English grammar and syntax are perfect.

    Overcome with comedic joy, even I must bend to the immensity of the majesty who prepared this as without even one semicolon I acclaim: BRAVO or BRAVA!

  3. Shame on you, Father Anthony, for allowing such petty sarcasm on the blog.

    Everyone knows the members of the Roman Curia are the closest collaborators of His Holiness the Pope.

    To make fun of them is to make fun of the person and office of the Sovereign Pontiff himself.

    (Speaking of Whom, I am still wondering if I can have the allegedly finalized copy of the Missal which Vox Clara gave His Holiness with great fanfare and much pasta back in April – printed by those “Work of God” folks – to auction on eBay. The auction for the 1998 Sacramentary went over $700 just a day or two back . . . )

    1. <<The auction for the 1998 Sacramentary went over $700 just a day or two back . . . >>


      The 1998 sacramentary in full is freely available for download here and here.

      1. +JMJ+

        Yeah, but this was a two-volume bound set with ribbons and everything, not a three-hole punched version in a bunch of binders. Besides, people pay for things that they can get free all the time.

      2. Yes, but this is the Canadian version.

        Actually there are interesting subtleties I have noticed in the British, American, and Canadian versions.

        But you are right $735 is a bit much. I would be cheaper to print off the pdf versions and have your own bound.

  4. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I am going to start practicing the inclina magna with the Bishop because it looks a bit more difficult.

  5. Congratulations to the anonymous author. Rather than cave to slavish literalism, you have successfully preserved and applied the spirit of Comme le prevoit. What a gift to the Church you are.

    1. Hey Bobby happy thanksgiving and an early ho ho ho! But I think the real gift is still on the way. Vox is putting the final touches on it right now aren’t they. Bishop Seratelli said they decided not to be slavish either with both the Latin and English. Come on though Bob even you have to admit that being overcome and bending to the immensity of your majesty sounds kind of funny. Any bets on if they’ll fix that or leave it in.

      1. Jeremy:

        “Bobby” only thinks it’s funny when he’s making the jokes.

        They’re like that.

  6. Totally clever!!! But what is so frightening is that it could be a true scenario of how things are accomplished I am going to start practicing the “simple bend” with my pastor! Lol!!!

  7. It is funny… even I have to admit that. My “Philosophy of Composition” Prof (Herbert Brun) once noted that you cannot parody Rock music for the very reason that it is already a parody of itself. This seems like much the same situation. Furthermore, when pokes and jabs at the hierarchy are the norm, then actual humor such as this loses it’s edge.

    1. Pokes and jabs at the hierarchy usually only occur when the hierarchy do things that invite the pokes and jabs.

  8. I am confused..If our priest faces the congrigation and bends to his right, in order for us to match his motion we must bend to our LEFT. But then, when he bends to his right facing the alter we must match this by bending to our RIGHT. I’m worried that many good intentioned folks from my parish will bend wrongly and crash heads with persons bending correctly. I think shaking hands is bad enough, but knocking heads shakes my faith.

    Loran Hill

  9. Loran,

    I think the memo from Rubrica Clara did stipulate that only the celebrant bends, so we may be safe. Well, from knocked heads, anyway. Maybe?

  10. How many bishops (and cardinals, especially) will be able to execute solemnly an Inclina Magna without beginning to roll helplessly down the hill, satin swirling?

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