I recently received a new, old Lectionarium from Fraternity Publications, the publishing arm of the FFSP, Fraternity of St. Peter. This liturgical book is used during Solemn Mass in the traditional Roman Rite. It contains the texts of the Epistles and the Gospels to be sung by the subdeacon and deacon.
It is bound in red leather cover and is approximately 10″ x 14″ x 1 7/8″. It has , two high ribbon markers. The edges of the pages are gilded.
There is a nice colored plate at the beginning.
It’s bona fides.
The type face is a little more ornate than I would prefer but it is easily legible.
The ribbons have a couple nice touches. First, the are reinforced at the connection to the spine. Also, they are finished at the end. They are designed, with care, to last.
The notation for the Exsultet is included, which is fitting, since it is something to be sung by a deacon.
By way of comparison, this is a shot of my other, older Lectionarium. Again, this is an older book…
Now back to the new volume. A shot with items… just for scale.
The book is not inexpensive, but it is a one time purchase.
If your TLM community needs one, consider getting it and donating it. However, check with the priest before you get it. Make sure that a) they don’t have one and b) that there isn’t something more urgent to acquire.
Our liturgical books should be elegant, as well as useful.
One thing might improve the volume, even though it was not included in older editions. It would perhaps be helpful to include templates with Gregorian notation for the chants of the readings.
There are modes that have become standard in the Roman Rite and every seminarian and cleric should know them. Alas, I have not heard of any seminary out there where they are taught. I would love to be corrected. I hope seminarians will drop me a line. I’ll protect your identity, of course.
There is a huge lacuna in liturgical training in all things Latin in this our ailing Latin Rite Church. And yet the Code of Canon Law clearly states that seminarians should be very well-trained in Latin (can. 249). Their training of Latin matters liturgy should be thorough.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council mandated that pastors of souls should make sure that their flocks should be able to both sing and speak the parts that pertain to them in both Latin and their mother tongue. But if that is a requirement of the Conciliar reform for lay people in the pews, how much more important is it that their clergy know how to sing the parts that pertain to them in Latin, which is the language of their Rite?
The templates for singing the orations and readings for Mass are found, for example, in the Liber Usualis. I think they ought to be included in the Lectionarium, even if they were not included in the past. We need them today. And we need people to teach the seminarians and clergy what those tones are. Many of them can’t read music. And there are also some who don’t hear the difference between whole and half steps. They should be helped to hear and sing the correct intervals. That means practice.
This brings to mind a book from the Canons at St. John Cantius which has all the variations of tones of orations and of the readings in chant notation. I wrote about it HERE. The Cantius book, Canticum Clericorum Romanum, is a helpful book, to be sure. It is great for practice. It is far better that seminarians and clergy know their chants without using this… “cheat sheet”. They should more properly use the elegant, liturgical book, such as this Lectionarium from Fraternity Publications.