From a priest reader:
Fr. Z, I’ve decided to take the plunge and use my Christmas money to
buy a 1962 Missale Romanum for the altar, so I can get up to speed on the EF in the next year. Any thoughts on which one to buy? I know of these three: PCP reprint, $400, which looks great, but I’ve heard it suggested they’re schismatics and they don’t have proper permission to publish; Roman Catholic Books, $110, which is a good price but I understand it’s really a ’61, so you need to use a sticker to insert St. Joseph in the Canon, etc.; and LEV, $334 plus shipping from Rome, in theory it’s nice to buy it right from the Vatican publisher, but considering how hideous their 2002 MR is, I don’t know if it’s a good idea. Do you have any thoughts on those three, or know of any others?
I wrote about the LEV edition here.
I wrote about the PCP edition here. (The old Benziger edition.)
I have been able to use both editions now. I will also switch back and forth during this week and be able to give you a better assessment in a few days.
My immediate observation is that the edition of the LEV I have been using this week in NYC doesn’t lie open as well as the LEV edition I used another time elsewhere. The PCP edition seems to lie open well. It could be simply a matter of the binding. Also, there is a page arrangement issue.
The LEV edition has the Canon across the whole page, instead of in columns. Some priests may not like that. I know the Canon well, and the page layout doesn’t make much difference to me.
The ribbons on the LEV are all the same color. The PCP edition has different color ribbons.
The PCP, being the Benziger, has if I recall and appendix with feasts for the USA. LEV doesn’t.
PCP has more traditional art and it is available in either green or red. You can get the LEV edition in any color you want, as long as it is red.
PCP has a slip cover case. LEV doesn’t.
I would not object at all if on Epiphany La Befana were to zoom in on her broom to bring me a PCP edition of the Benziger reprint.
I don’t know if that helps you with the decision.
As far as the non-Catholic publisher, or “schismatic” question is concerned, it seems to me that at the time Benziger printed the original, it was a good edition. That is what the PCP edition contains. Also, while I would prefer to hire all practicing Catholics to, say, sew my cassocks, vestments, and build my church, I will sometimes have to hire non-Catholics. I would rather have daily Communicants singing as soloists in a polyphonic choir, but that isn’t always possible. But I always would want good music. So, I hire someone who can do the job I want done.