The Catholic book of rites, for use by a Priest or Deacon, is called “Ritual Romanum” and includes the rites of baptism, marriage, last rites and the rite of exorcism among others. This is the No. 66 1927 edition published by S. Joannis Evangelistae, Rome. Even though the pages are in very good shape one can see that the book was used. I respect that very much. Some hard working priest had this book for many years, it meant something to him. His name still adorns the front fly leaf. I partially restored and rebound the book but chose to leave that name and other signs of usage intact. One might expect from the subjects I bind that I, like many other people looking for these books that are not Catholic, would be attracted to the rite of exorcism in this book. Those trying to clear homes or people of unwanted paranormal visitors, people interested in the creepiness of that archaic practice, or even those who craft items like vampire killing kits often look for “Rituale Romanum” books for their collections. Even though this partially attracted me to the book I also have a heady respect for any religious practitioner and the items they use day in and day out… in what I assume can often be thankless and difficult work. Still, it is interesting to note that the pages for exorcism show fascinating and particular usage marks in a much higher frequency than the rest of the book. I can only imagine, with a chill at my spine, that this particular book may very well have been used in a battle against the powers of darkness.
I chose “Smooth Historic Goat” produced by the firm of Siegel Leather here in the U.S.. This leather is so nice to work with. The grain is smooth but apparent and the feel is quite soft. The leather pares like hot butter under a sharp blade and tools very easily. The original binding had paper-thin leather over thin wraps (cardstock covers) but I decided to put on hardcovers. The paper was marbled here in the bindery by me. I struggled with the paper because I wanted to add a bit of beauty but the book really is a working man’s tool. To add flowery papers could take away from the gravitas of this little item. After deliberation I chose beauty over utility. Likewise with the tooling I trued to do something that was simple and to the point…something…well Catholic. Like the original covers and many Catholic Bibles black on black with accents of gold are what was called for.