Hidden Stash Chant Book

When the vicar doesn’t stop preaching again… 😉

I can imagine that studying theology can be quite exhausting. Pray, learn, read, calm down, learn… That’s why I thought I’d help one of our outgoing interns (who then started studying theology) with a useful farewell gift: a songbook in which she can carry some essential perseverances inconspicuously.

The first thing I had bought was a great old church history book from the second-hand bookstore. It was a wonderful book. But when I thought that it afterwards was ruined, I decided to give it to our future theologian in its original state.

Now I had to get a new suitable book. And I found that, thank God, in our Catholic Church. When I asked the priest for old church books there, he found one that was out of circulation anyway and would sooner or later go into waste paper. I also immediately obtained his absolution for tinkering with it to make sure that I did not commit any theological sacrilege. God beware!

So this was the sweet piece, a real Catholic singing book!

And that’s what it took: A songbook, a small box, glue, a scalpel, screw clamps and velvet (the foam rubber in the picture wasn’t such a good idea after all).

First the pages were fixed with the screw clamps.

The box had to be trimmed a bit, too high.

Then the scalpel was used to cut along the outside of the box.

That’s what it looked like at first. Quite fiddly with all the leaves.

The hole had to go all the way down to the book cover.

Then the shortened box was glued in.

Refined with finest black velvet.

Then between the sides and the edge of the box a lot of glue, and one page glued over the hole. This was weighted down to dry by my old faithful Fostex Studio Monitor Box. The thing is as heavy as lead (and has an incredibly good sound).

Now we have the finished secret chantbook 🙂

This is what it looks like now when you open it “secretly”…

And like this, if you know where the honey pot is 🙂

According to what I have heard, the thing has already been successfully tested several times! I’d rather not mention any names, who knows how draconian the consequences are for delinquent theology students…

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