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Peregrinus Gasolinus Stories

Take a ride in these witty stories by Fr. Michael Chapman that combines the wandering adventures of two priests via gasoline who along the way address liturgical matters.

Some introductory words about Fr. Michael Chapman's books:

  • Peregrinus Gasolinus: Wandering Notes on the Liturgy

  • Peregrinus Goes Abroad


Includes a short biography on the author.

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altars - candles - electric lights at altar

A badly battered flivver drew up by the side of the country road in front of the Church of St. Rusticus, and two men alighted...

veiling sacred vessels - exposition rubrics

"If you're going to quiz me about the origin and development of the ceremonies of Corpus Christi..."

altar bell - crotalus

"What about the Sanctus Bell," queried the Antiquary, as he pottered around the klaxon...

standing during Credo - extra genuflections

"Their [servers'] work is little, but if they do that little well and reverently, they merit the title the Church gives them..."

grating - location - crates ferreae

"But don't forget, my dear Pere, that the box is one innovation which is fully approved, indeed commanded, by the Church..."

scamnum use - Benediction mistakes

"A very simple general rule governs, for Corpus Christi and the Forty Hours Devotion, that oft-mistaken action..."

evergreens - altar construction

"I suppose this business of bringing evergreens into the church at Christmas can hardly be called a 'Roman custom'..."

symbolism of chasuble & Gospel

"There's your utilitarian ceremonial," broke in the Antiquary. "It was definitely useful when vestments really were vestments..."

proper use of altars

"Did you notice that besides the fact that Fr. Margo's side altars were cluttered up with all sorts of extraneous miscellany..."

clean daily linens - stole collar

"I never could see why so many of the clergy put up, unnecessarily, with one amice and one purificator for a whole week of Masses..."

ambry location - oil stocks

"The Ritual prescribes that the priest shall carry the vase or stock of Oil for the Sick enclosed in a sack or violet-colored silk..."

wearing surplice and stole - pyx burse

"The rubric of the Ritual about wearing surplice and stole in sacramental administration is very strictly interpreted..."

chasuble - cassock - surplice - fabrics

"Those were very nice thin vestments Fr. Rusticus had, no linings, sheer silk, quite the thing for hot days like this..."

genuflections - signing cross with monstrance

"Then look at the way the Sign of the Cross is made with the monstrance. Why, it's like anything but the Sacred Sign of our Redemption!"

electric lights - sanctuary lamp

"What about electric lights in the sanctuary lamp before the Blessed Sacrament?" asked the Antiquary...

ceremonial movements - gestures

"When we get 'on the altar' we keep on rushing. It's a sign of the times, part of the nervous fitfulness of modern life..."

ecclesiastical vocabulary

"There are good precedents in liturgiology for many good old terms which were familiar to our Catholic forefathers but sound strange to us..."

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scamnum - extra servers - sanctuary lamp

"...It’s another instance of 'topsy-turvy ceremonial' like the other matters we have discussed..."

baptistery matters

"...It's another instance of 'topsy-turvy ceremonial' like the other matters we have discussed..."

Leonine Prayers rules

"But they are always to be said after every Low Mass, are they not?"

thurible incensing

"'The rubrics,' says he, 'distinguish two kinds of incensing, with a simple swing (ductus simplex) and a double swing (ductus duplex)'..."

unlighted candles- unbleached wax - infant burial

"I'd like to go to my own funeral thinking that my poor words might have made the sacred obsequies less of a liturgical abomination..."

when to kneel during Credo and where

"It's just a little point about the kneeling in the Credo, by the celebrant and Ministers, at the Masses on Christmas Day..."

removal of chasuble and maniple

"And if he preaches," queried the Antiquary, "he goes first to the scamnum to take off the vestments, and thence to the pulpit?"

abuses seen at Eucharistic processions

The Liturgiologist sank to his knees, for he saw advancing golden shrine, singularly solid and substantial, fashioned like a small Gothic church...

when of obligation - blessing of water

"There are even authors who claim that the Asperges is to be given even if the "principal Mass" is not sung..."

per breviorem vs. per longiorem

"Be so kind as to point out, in any 'Approved Author,' directions for any other way of going to the bench at an ordinary sung Mass?"

when to wear - fabric types

"Its practical utility as a protection to the head may be said to be obsolete. It remains a garment of dignity..."

legitimate local customs

"You have cited the classic example of local custom sanctioned by law, either in the observance or the omission of a rite..."

pageantry vs. ceremony

"It's very natural for the good Sisters to regard the spectacular part of ceremonies as their own special domain. They may train children, often altar boys..."

nuptial ceremonies

"I have a vague recollection of having read somewhere that wedding parties are not permitted in the sanctuary..."

various tones used at Mass

"Now, Pere," interjected the Antiquary mildly, "you mustn't get off the old one about 'stage whispers'..."

religious supply company issues

"Why do the Church Goods houses sell these things if they aren't proper and correct?" put the Antiquary...

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Peregrinus Goes Abroad stories

Part 1: "See America First"

Published in 1931, this classic sequel of Fr. Chapman is never short of useful rubrical critiques, all given (as the author remarks in his Preface) to assist those in executing "the sacred ceremonies of the Church in a correct and dignified manner".

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bishop's title - canonical pastor

"You are to get an automobile, and I am Pastor of Centerville," announced the Antiquary, striding into the Liturgiologist's room...

altar construction - gradines - reredos

"All that I have had to say to you, on various previous occasions, on the topic of altars and tabernacles, has been in careful accord with the 'Approved Authors.'..."

sanctuary carpets - sedilia - prie dieu

"Did I understand you to say that green is the required color for a rug or carpet in the sanctuary?"

communion cloth - credence

"But from the practical side, there's no question but most of the credences one sees are altogether too small..."

ceremonial shortcuts - quality materials

"Economy in liturgical practice and ecclesiastical articles is a commendable virtue, but parsimony is not so good..."

benediction - vespers - rosary

"But special devotions aren't liturgical," said the Liturgiologist from the doorway, scenting, like the war horse in Scripture, the battle from afar...

proper music - prescribed processions - Rituale Romanum

"Have you ever noticed, how the good Sisters who arrange such ceremonies as May Processions, Corpus Christi Processions, etc., always get the cart before the horse..."

liturgical gestures - paten on chalice foot

"What do you think, Pere, is the most common ceremonial mistake in the ordinary practice of priests?" asked Fr. Maduro...

linen lace - altar cloths - ciborium veils

“Your insistence on linen is praiseworthy,” the Liturgiologist subjoined in an annotative voice. “No one, I fancy, will question the greater propriety of having all three of the altar cloths of linen..."

mozzetta - mantelletta - abito piano - zucchetto

The Pastor is being elevated to a monsignor and consults with the Liturgiologist to ensure he will dress correctly according to his rank resulting in an interesting discussion about the costume of prelates.

more romano - celebrets - ecclesiastical latin

The Liturgiologist and Antiquary have a conversation with their Bishop about the problems of learning Church Latin. Includes links to learning resources.

Italian-style vestments - altar servers - more romano

Now in Naples, our traveling priests experience some curiosities while vesting and during Mass with their altar servers.

Tabernacle - Antependium - Sanctuary Lamp

The pair of priests finally enter St. Peter's Basilica and speak about the antependium, the form of the tabernacle, its veil, and the sanctuary lamp.

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ablution cup - holy water font - tabernacle

"Quid dicis, 'sponges'?" asked the Liturgiologist, with a life of his shaggy eyebrows...

civory - tabernacle - reredos

"Are we to go on building brick parallelograms, or 'strawberry Gothic' chapels, because forty years ago such were the best we could do?..."

sacrarium - silentium

"But there's one apparatus which is required in all Catholic churches, urban or rural, which costs little, yet is often conspicuous by its absence. I mean the sacrarium..."

altar canopy - ciborium - baldacchino

"Then there are 'Approved Authors' who are practically unanimous in their recommendations regarding the construction and adornment of altars..."

proper type - prohibition of electric chimes and gongs

"In the long run all the liturgical prescriptions of the Church are really the best suited to the furtherance of such religious emotions as it is desired to produce..."

boys vs. men

"The analogy seems to hold that the Church not only approves but expects the assistance of young men in her sacred ceremonies rather than immature children..."

patron saints of travel - religious articles

"I fancy the spiritual value of Sacramentals might be enhanced if we explained their efficacy more clearly and more often."

“You’ve mentioned eight positions of the hands, prescribed by the rubrics,” laughed the Liturgiologist, “and at that you’ve left out several..."

“There are a number of sacristy manuals in use and thus far I have failed to find one which really gives the authentic text of the new Rituale..."

The Liturgiologist and Antiquary are finally off to Rome! But first, a discussion on some necessities, from cassock materials, to celebrets, to breviaries.

Now on board their ship bound for Italy, the Liturgiologist and Antiquary enjoy some adventures while offering Mass at sea and a discussion on the cleanliness of purificators.

Still in Naples, the Liturgiologist and Antiquary discuss the proper clerical attire that should be worn both at home and abroad.

Continuing their tour of St. Peter's Basilica, the priests discuss the papal high altar, the construction of altars in general, and curiosities of Papal Mass.

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Adhaesit Pavementum

Pews - Civory - Altar

The traveling priests now come to the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls and remark on the pewless nave, civory and ideal altar arrangement.

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