23 July 2009

The box under the table

Some of the best deals I've found at garage sales or homeschool conferences, or anywhere, are those tucked away in half-opened boxes under folding tables or stashed in corners.

A few years ago, tucked way under a vendor table, I found the first year of the math curriculum I wanted to use with my son, complete with many of the manipulatives still unopened in their packages, all for less than 25% of the retail price. I had come to the conference fully anticipating to have to pay for a brand new set, but was thrilled to find it used.

I found the second year, brand new, for about the same, at this year's conference.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the great Catholic books I found at a garage sale. Today, hidden in a box with old irons and other junk was an old book covered with a fairly worn blue cover. Curious I thought, since it was odd to have this book thrown in with the old irons, especially when the lady having the sale was a retired teacher who had piles of books gently set out on numerous tables.

The sticker had been priced at $2, but was marked down to fifty cents.

I opened up the cover and found it was, "The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book." Of course, I nabbed it and quickly tucked it under my arm.

I can't say I've ever seen one of these before. My mom couldn't sing on key, so she never was in choir. I was a public school kid. The only hymnals I had ever encountered were filled with Haugen, Haas and Joncas. This hymnal has so many songs (titles) in Latin that I'm going to have to start teaching Latin in my homeschool just to understand the books I own!

This hymnal was originally printed in the 1920s, but my version is from the 40s. It contains, two versions of Adoro Te Devote, three versions of Laudate Dominum, five versions of the Ave Verum Corpus, and of course, my favorite, the Asperges.

You can buy reprints of this hymnal at various Catholic bookstores or it's also online at Project Gutenberg.

As I went to pay, the lady looked at me and said, "Oh, you got the hymnal. I have the Baltimore Catechism upstairs." I told her I had just bought a copy of the catechism at a garage sale a few weeks ago, but not the older version. She told me she had the original version. I didn't ask, but I'm pretty certain she wasn't willing to sell it.

I mentioned to her that my aunt still frequently recites various things from the Baltimore catechism. She just knowingly shook her head and off I went with my latest treasure.


Adrienne said...

Now Swissy - don't be jealous buuuuut, that's the hymnal I grew up singing out of....

Of course that also means I'm very, very old or something so you're probably not jealous.

It's a great hymnal. We have a copy too

Ray from MN said...


Adrienne and I can probably sing duets out of that book (if she's not a soprano).

I had that book in grade school for 8 years (probably 7 cuz first graders can't read much).

I was in the NE Mpls Corpus Christi procession last month and the question as to what hymns we (my schola group) and the processors behind us should sing.

I'll get you some from the St. Gregory's Hymnal (which I found on the internet).

I found 15 or so wonderful singable hymns that everybody seemed to know the melody of, if not more than the first verse.

swissmiss said...

Adrienne: Only the hymnal is old :)

Like my mom, I can't sing on key either. I can play instruments and read music just fine, but sing, no way.

Ray: Check out the link to Project Gutenberg, I think it has the entire hymnal there.