Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Meme

James Gibson of Sanctus tagged me with the book meme. I am supposed to pick up the nearest book, turn to page 123, find the fifth sentence, and post the three sentences afterward. For me this will not be as straightforward as one might hope . . .

The nearest book – right at my elbow, since I consult it so often – is Detailed Diagnoses and Procedures, National Hospital Discharge Survey, 1991. Even though it is falling apart, I use its list of ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes, which is laid out in a user-friendly way for quick reference. Page 123 is the second page of a 24-page table. It doesn’t even have five actual sentences on the page. The next closest book is the Ultimate World Pocket Atlas. Page 123 shows the eastern half of the Pacific Ocean, along with North and South America – again no sentences. The next closest book is The Book of Common Prayer (1979). Page 123 contains five collects for Evening Prayer II. Skipping titles and Amens and counting each collect as a sentence brings us to the next page, where we find . . . more collects:

A Collect for Protection
O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Collect for the Presence of Christ
Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

I wish I had landed on a Rite 1 page. Even as my eyes were reading the Rite 2 words, my lips were saying the Rite 1 versions that I recited hundreds of times during my years as an Anglo-Catholic.