So here I am on vacation, home in the USA. I brought my Italian Liturgy of the Hours to use so I wouldn't forget the little bit of the language I've learned over there. But for those of the Hours that I pray with the brothers, I went and dug out of storage my old Roman-Franciscan Christian Prayer, which was given to me for my use when I arrived as a postulant with the OFM way back on July 17, 1994. (The day is easy to remember because it was the final match of the World Cup (Brazil vs. Italy, 0-0, 3-2 (penalities))).
However, when I found my old friend, I saw that it had no ribbons. A breviary with no ribbons? What kind of Catholic do you think I am?
I must have harvested them for some other purpose which I have now forgotten about. Too bad I hadn't anticipated this issue; I could have gone up to the S.Paolo 1951 store in Assisi and consulted the wall of ribbons for a replacement:
Not feeling inspired to make my own--and in this regard I boast in the Lord to say that the markers I made for the hymnals in our house of post-novitiate formation all the way back in 2002 from ribbon I got at the fabric store, staples, and a cut-up Cheerios box remain in service to this day--I picked up a set of replacement ribbons from the local religious article store.
Now, as often happens, when you put a set of replacement ribbons in your breviary, they turn out to be a little too long:
What to do? You don't want to leave it like that, for the elongated ribbons will become a distraction, will end up doubled-back into other pages, get caught in other books, etc. But if you cut them, they will probably fray and eventually become too short. Now if they're real cloth, you can cut them and put a little knot at the end that's easy to get small enough so as not to be a bother. But even better, as I've discovered, with whatever synthetic material out of which replacement ribbons usually seem to be made here in America, you can cut them just a little longer than you want them to turn out and then cauterize them, as it were, toast them as I like to say, so they won't fray:
Just put a little bit of fire close to the cut end and watch it curl up into a little melted end that will never fray on you. Remember to cut them just a little longer than you want them to turn out, as I say, and you'll end up with ribbons just the right length, and that will stay that way: