Book review: Bradshaw, L. A guide to the Celebration of Low Mass according to the traditional Roman Rite.

Sometime back I wrote that a new book had been published to.  It is by Lee Bradshaw, A guide to the Celebration of Low Mass according to the traditional Roman Rite. (Melbourne: Gavantus, 2007, pp.65).

A kind soul, probably Mr. Bradshaw, sent me the book.

It is a paperback, larger format.

There are no images.  There is a helpful, and very well-balanced introduction by Alcuin Reid. 

The book is designed to help a priest or seminarian who knows nothing about how to celebrate the usus antiquior learn step by step, with patience, what to do. 

However, there is the introductory section an excellent note:

"No amount of reading can take the place of actually assisting at Masses celebrated by other priests, and you should also do this whenever possible.  Although it is now common for laymen to serve Mass, the norm is for this to be done by a cleric and serving other priests’s Masses will also give valuable experience." (p. 14)

The Introduction includes an elementary pronunciation guide for Latin.  It is very good.  In the Introduction there are also notes about the Altar Cards and some extremely good notes on timing of words and ritual actions.

There are good descriptions of how to set up for Mass, how to put on vestments together with the vesting prayers.  At the end, in appendices, you find the prayers which a priest ought to memorize, if possible, and common variations in the low Mass, such as those expected for a Requiem or Mass without a server.

A flaw is perhaps in the lighter, gray, used for rubrics and responses, the crosses indicating the moments when the priest is the make signs of the Cross.  Perhaps color will be available in a future printing or, perhaps, different type faces.

The pages are divided into two columns, separated by a verticle line.  The priest’s Latin text is on the left, without Latin rubrics.  The right column are English descriptions of the priest’s actions.   The descriptions are not overly picky, or wordy.  There are some good points added.

This is a great tool!   It would be of little use for a layman, but I recommend especially that people consider giving copies to seminarians and priests (and perhaps a younger bishop or two). 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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