Let’s get focused: getting the right (old/new) liturgical books

Under another entry about the Holy See reprinting (or not) the 1962 Missale Romanum there is discussion of other reprints of liturgical books.

Let’s get focused and create a really useful entry about what books are available and from whom, what they are actually like, how much they cost, etc.

For example, I reviewed the reprint of the 1962 Missale Romanum that the guys at St. John Cantius in Chicago were peddling.  A kind reader gave me a copy.  However, it is now out of print… already.

So… where does one now get a true 1962 Missale Romanum in any format?  I am NOT interested in hand missals.  This is about books priests need.  Missals and breviaries.

PCP (Preserving Christian Publications) is going to be issuing a 1962 Missale Romanum with this claim:

Missale Romanum:  an exact reprint of Benziger’s classic 1962 edition of the traditional altar missal which was specially tailored for the USA dioceses. [NB:  this is the May 1963 printing, i.e., the final "1962 edition" which includes St. Joseph’s name in the Canon]


I know the Benzinger editions.  I have used them many times.  This reprint could be a very good tool, it it turns out alright.  I own an edition by Benzinger: the 1961, the last issued before the 1962 editio typica (thus, Joseph is not in the Canon, etc.).  The 1962 will be nearly exactly the same as far as format is concerned.  It isn’t a fancy book.  It is a useful book.  I look forward to seeing what PCP does with it.

Otherwise, I read that PCP is also making available the Breviarium Romanum, the two-volume set which has the older Psalter and not the dreadful Psalter approved by Pope Pius XII.  Alas, the volumes don’t seem very interesting in the photo.  I would like to get then in my hands to see what they are really like to feel and use.

For breviaries, priests generally would like something like those wonderful old softbound leather volumes with gilded pages that so perfectly fit in the hand.  If you are going to spend that much of your day with a book in your hand, each and every day for years, you want something nice, even if you have to spend a little more for it.

So, let’s get practical information.  Who, what, where, how much, etc.

Do we know about other reprints of the 1962 Missale Romanum and the Breviarium Romanum?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jon says:


    With regard to the Breviarium Romanum, this is what all us breviary-philes are awaiting with bated breath:

    Baronius Press

    English-Latin Breviary
    Work on the Breviary has continued this year, albeit quite slowly. We have had a number of set backs which have somewhat delayed production. However now, the typesetting is finally underway. Once this has been completed, the proofreading process will start. It is likely that this title shall be published in the first half of 2008 if no new setbacks are encountered. Please pray for the completion of this enormous undertaking.

  2. danphunter1 says:

    The FSSP bookstore sells a beautiful 1962 altar missal.
    I believe you can find it at “Fraternity Books”.They are out of Elmhurst Pennsylvania.
    It is the same altar missal the the Fraternity priests use.
    I purchased one for our Diocesan Bishop His Excellency Bishop Burbidge, Diocese of Raleigh NC.
    The price was 225.00.
    God bless you.

  3. Palestrina says:

    What we also need somebody to reprint is the Evangelarium (preferrably one with notation throughout – e.g. the solemn solemn tone of the Gospel for Midnight Mass at Christmas) – these are ridiculously difficult to find, and you’re lucky to get ANY edition, let alone something vaguely near 1962 – Our Latin Mass Chaplain managed to get an 1845 edition, I think!

    Also wouldn’t mind seeing the Canon Missae ad Usum Episcoporum reprinted – fancy copy, ala-Pustet’s missals.

    There are actually lots of liturgical books out there that need to be reprinted, apart from the “plain vanilla” Missal and Breviary.

  4. John Fisher says:

    Is the Missale Romanum(2002) still in print? If so, where can you buy a copy?

  5. dan: That edition of the Missale Romanum is not published by the FSSP, though they sell it. It is printed by Roman Catholic Books. It is a nice edition, though it is not a true 1962 edition, though it is a reprint of a 1961 whose permission to be reprinted was granted in 1962. It is a very useful altar missal with a slight modification. It also has the advantage of being available and, finally, less expensive than it was before.

  6. Regarding the 2002 Missale Romanum, I know of three different versions. Two are available from the Vatican publishers, and one is available from Midwest Theological Forum.

    Probably the easiest to obtain in the United States is the one from Midwest Theological Forum:
    It is quite beautiful and although a bit pricey, it is certainly worthy of the altar.

    The other two are from the Vatican publishers. Their website is a mess, but I did manage to find both versions (both of which appear to be out of print now!).

    The first is the cheaper one. We have this one in our parish, and it is actually well constructed in my opinion. The problem is that the artwork is terrible. It looks like kindergarteners made the pictures for it (you can see the cover in the link below). However, this is the least expensive of your options, and I would say every parish should at least have this version.


    The other Vatican edition is the more expensive one. I was able to look at it when I was at the Vatican bookstore a few weeks ago. This edition is very similar (if not the same thing) as the one published by Midwest Thological Forum. But it is more expensive than either of the other versions, so I would only buy this if it is the only one you can get.


    Otherwise, I am not sure of any other editions of the 2002 Missale Romanum. But I hope that helps.


  7. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    The Midwest Theological Forum which is connected with Opus Dei has printed a beautiful edition of the 2002 Missale and has a leather cover,excellent binding,ribbons,and most impressively many beaitiful art works in color.I would hope that they would do the same for the 1962 Missale.I find all the 62 ones that are available dull and a task to read.Which one is the one pictured on this website,the one that has a colored picture of a painting of the crucifixion? I am making my own lectionary for the 62 missal-which would serve for both the epistle and Gospel.I was interestingly surprised to read in Latin mass magazine that A. Lefebrve stated that that parish celebrations of the 62 missal were to have the readings directly said in the vernacular.

  8. danphunter1 says:

    Correct me if I am wrong,but isn’t the only difference between the 1961 and the ’62 is the inclusion of St Josephs name in the 1962 missal?

  9. John Fisher says:

    Thank you very much RS for the information and the links. The MTF version looks very beautiful.

  10. I got a copy of the “1962” Roman Missal which is published by Roman Catholic Books. It did not have Saint Joseph in the Canon. However, it did have the Good Friday changes (no “perfiduous Jews”) in the intercessions. I am assuming (however, I don’t know for certain) that except for the missing Saint Joseph in the Canon, that edition is otherwise the same.

    But again, I add the caveat that I don’t know what the changes were between the version published by Roman Catholic Books and the actual, final, approved 1962 form of the Mass.

    Hopefully Fr. Z. can tell us.

  11. Derik Castillo says:

    Dear Fr Z.

    The Missale Romanum Editio princeps (1570), is offered by Paxbook, the
    online bookstore of the Vatican Publishing House (and allies). For a
    reprint of such edition the tag is reasonable ($77). PAPERback.

    I have to say that Paxbook does not offer any preview of the contents
    (other than the cover), so it is impossible to say if the artwork
    matches the standards of your highly refined taste.


    The Missale Romanum anno 1962 promulgatum. Reimpressio, introductione
    aucta curantibus Cuthbert Johnson, o.s.b. & Anthony Ward, s.m.
    was published in 1994 by the Centro Litugico Vincenziano and is offered
    also under Paxbook. I ordered a copy at $53. It is still under way,
    so be patient and in a few weeks I can post my impressions on the quality
    of the artwork. No binding is specified, but by the picture it looks


    Yours, in Christ

  12. Ian says:

    Aquinas and More carries largest selection of new Traditional Mass products available ranging from vestments to books to music. We will continuously be adding new items as they become available. We added the Breviary yesterday and should have the 62 Liber up this week.

  13. Derik: Interesting information, but how is the 1570 editio princeps useful to this discussion?   I hvae it btw and it is a great curiosity.  It is even useful about twice a year when I have to look something up.  But… sheesh… pretty hard to use today.

    Also, that edition of the 1962 is pretty good and one can have it rebound (I did) with ribbons and page markers.  Still, since it is a photo reproduction, it is entirely in black and white.  No red for rubrics.  This makes it very hard for anyone who isn’t really familiar with the older Mass to use.  FWIW


  14. The CMAA has just posted an online .pdf of the Missale Romanum 1962. Previously, all they had was an edition from the 50’s, but this is the ’62. This will be good for study purposes, at the very least.


  15. John Polhamus says:

    I think it would be extremely conducive to lay participation in the breviary, to have the parallel Latin/English Burns and Oats “Day Hours of the Church” reprinted. It is extremely compact, and most people cannot either afford, or profitably use a breviary including the office of Matins. Not that I don’t want to buy and use the forthcoming Baronius Press edition myself, I do. But traditionally it was the office of Prime, oriented as it is towards the day’s work about to be undertaken, which was especially reccomended to lay people. Beyond that they would encounter Vespers on Sundays and at Major Feasts, and daily Compline, and occaisionally Lauds. Matins remains a bit much for the average person outside Christmas or Tenebrae, but the general familiarity with the psalms afforded by “The Day Hours of the Church” offers increased spiritual depth in measured quantities, commensurate with the needs of the average person. Will someone please reprint it?

  16. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    R.P. Zuhlsdorf,

    Would a Breviary with the pre-Pius XII psalter meet the conditions of Summorum Pontificum? Were they required in the office or just approved for use?

    Thank you,

    Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

  17. Father Klingele says:

    Derik and Fr. Zuhlsdorf: It is hard to read the black and do the red, when all is written in black. It reminds me of some priests using one of the recent reprints where one of the rubrics was mistakenly printed in black, “jungit manus” or “inclinat caput” or something. They read it because it was in black.

    Could the 1964 edition of Sunday Lectionary with Chants be used for readings in the vernacular at a celebration of the Extraordinary Use of the Mass, since it is an approved edition of lessions following the 1962 caledar? It uses the Confraternity translation, which is not the best translation but it has not been politicized like the NAB.

  18. Michael Garner says:

    Actually something interesting a lot of people may have not noticed.
    Another difference between the 1962 and the 1961 Missale Romanum besides
    St. Joseph’s name being in the Canon is that the 1962 Missale Romanum uses “cotidianum”
    in the Pater Noster and the 1961 still uses “quotidianum.” The 1962
    also has a slightly different blessing of salt and holy water.

  19. Brian Crane says:

    Fr. Scott:

    My question exactly!

  20. M Kr says:

    Palestrina makes an excellent point that many other books besides the Missal and Breviary need to be republished. I am thinking especially of the following:

    1. Evangeliarium and Epistolarium: for the subdeacon and deacon to use for the Epistle and Gospel at High Mass.

    2. Liber Usualis: For the principal chants for Mass and some parts of the Office.

    3. Graduale Romanum: The authoritative source for the chants for Mass.

    4. Antiphonale Romanum: the authoritative source for the chants of the Office. The last edition was published in 1919 and so does not take into account changes to the Office since then. Also, I’m not sure if they managed to include all of the Matins chants, at least according to the Solesmes notation.

    5. The Nocturnale Romanum: being the complete chants for Matins has been recently republished by a German company (does not include rhythmic marking of Solesmes) – I forget which one, but it can be looked up on Google.

  21. Timothy James says:

    Is there a certain date before which a Missale would simply be no good today? We know regarding the 1961 versions that with slight modifications, such as adding Joseph to the Canon, that it could be used for the Extraordinary Form now… what about even earlier editions? I think someone needs to come up with a guide for converting old Missals into ones which can be used now. The reality is that there are thousands of old (and beautiful) Pre-Vatican II Missals around in Church attics etc… Is there a way to fix up the real old ones or are they too outdated? And what date would be the cut-off between usable and unusable?

  22. Serapion says:

    On rubrics printed in black, I’ve seen two different altar missals (both 1962 editions, not sure if they were from different publishers or not) that had the Hic genuflecitur. in the Paschal Alleluia from Pentecost Tuesday printed in black. Was this a common mistake?

    Was the Memoriale Rituum ever revised to accommodate the new Holy Week? If so, it might prove useful given the scarcity of clergy to serve as Deacons and Subdeacons.

    I think the site that sells the Nocturnale Romanum is at here, but I don’t read German. The Diurnale has also been reprinted – I’m not sure by whom – and is available from Southwell Books and The Abbey Shop, both in the U.K.

    The Roman Martyrology (in English) is available from Angelus Press.

    The Little Office of the B.V.M. will soon be available from Baronius Press. A previous edition is available from St. Bonaventure Publications.

  23. Brian Crane says:

    The three volume Rituale Romanum by Fr. Philip T. Weller is being marketed on several sites, but I cannot figure out if it is really licit to use this edition under the Motu Proprio.

    It would be very helpful if someone could explain whether it is permissible, and if so, why (e.g., this was the last published edition, no revisions were made before 1962, or whatever). The reason why this would be helpful is so that a priest or seminarian could defend himself if he is challenged on his use of certain books… since the bishop’s conference does not seem to be forthcoming with a list of approved titles, even though the Motu Proprio is now in force. There will most certainly be challenges issued in certain places…

    Can anyone clarify this? Thanks.

  24. Palestrina makes an excellent point that many other books besides the Missal and Breviary need to be republished.

    There also needs to be a vernacular edition (or maybe even updated edition) of whichever Ceremonial of Bishops pertains to the approved 1962 edition. That’s the book that really gets into the “smells & bells” and all the pontifical actions done with prelates, which trickels down to the parish level as well for certain actions.

  25. Matt says:

    As Jon posted, Baronius Press is the best source for the Extraordinary Tridentine Missal. Even Amazon was selling them but now have a notice that they are out and not sure if they will be getting anymore. EWTN is/was selling them also but with the same “temporarily out of stock” notice.

    I believe this is due to the great anticipation of the Motu Proprio–and hunger–of the people, and thus the run on the businesses who sell this great Missal.

    FYI: Baronius Press is based in London, England. From the descriptions on their website, the construction and design is appears to be exceptional. Their prices are listed in US dollars but shipping and handling will add to the cost due to the US dollar being weaker against the Pound, and thus the higher rates of the Royal Mail. :-)

  26. Serapion says:

    Baronius Press does indeed make beautiful books, but I recall finding quite a few typographical errors in an early printing of their hand missal and also in one of their Bibles that I own. There is definitely room for improvement, but then again, all hand missals for the laity are notorious for their errors. (No wonder they used to be banned!)

    But to get back on subject: I would really like to see someone reprint a pocket- or hand-sized Missale Romanum. I own a lovely little pocket-sized edition printed in the 1920s, but it is much too fragile for regular use.

    Also, Father Z: An hour or so ago I attempted to leave a comment here that didn’t make it through the spam filter, most likely because of the number of links it contained. If you can find it without too much trouble, you might like to post it: I believe it was germane to this subject.

  27. M Kr says:

    More information:

    I mentioned previously that the Nocturnale Romanum had been republished. The company is Hartker and their online store is at http://www.hartker-shop.de. The website is German but if you follow the link on the tab at the left, relating to the office (the German word is similar) it takes you to the page which lists all the office materials.

    What they reprinted in 2002 was the “Antiphonale Sacrosanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ pro nocturnis horis”, which they called the Nocturnale. It contains all the chants for Matins according to the old rite (I’m not sure if it takes into account the changes to the breviary in 1960, but I doubt it since the last edition of the Antiphonale was in 1919 and I think this is just a reprint).

    From what I read elsewhere, it does not have the rhythmic markings of Solesmes.

  28. dcs says:

    Matt writes:
    Baronius Press is the best source for the Extraordinary Tridentine Missal.

    Baronius Press is currently printing only handmissals, not altar missals such as a priest would use.

    Take a look at this incredibly beautiful Missal that was for sale on eBay. Yes, I know it’s not a 1962 but it was almost too beautiful for me to resist.

  29. Derik Castillo says:

    Fr Z.

    Also I wish I could know that the Missal I just bought is monochrome. I guess I will figure out what to do with it.


  30. Derik: That monochrome edition is still a very useful book. I put red brackets around the rubrical texts and colored in the crosses. Then I had it rebound (by my usual binder in Rome) with ribbons and pages tabs. It is a very good size. I did the same for their edition of the Rituale Romanum.

  31. Fr. Bailey: Would a Breviary with the pre-Pius XII psalter meet the conditions of Summorum Pontificum? Were they required in the office or just approved for use?

    Sure.  If I am not mistaken there is a 1962 edition with the pre-Pius XII psalter.   Surely someone will jump in on this. 


  32. Mendicant Friar says:

    Fr Z wrote: “Also, that edition of the 1962 is pretty good and one can have it rebound (I did) with ribbons and page markers. Still, since it is a photo reproduction, it is entirely in black and white. No red for rubrics. This makes it very hard for anyone who isn’t really familiar with the older Mass to use.”

    FWIW– I too had this edition rebound with ribbons and page tabs. I also took the time with a red pencil and a ruler to underline the rubrics. It works quiet well for this poor priest.


  33. Mendicant: Yes… I too found that to be a good solution. And the volume turns out to be very handy. As a matter of fact a week or so ago back in Rome I helped a friend lay out all the page tabs for the same rebinding project. I think he will be happy with the results.

  34. Paul says:

    Loome Books seems to have a fair collection of both Roman and Monastic breviaries.


  35. caeremoniarius says:


    The “Ritus Simplex Ordinis Hebdomadae Sanctae Instaurati” (1957) replaces the relevant chapters of the Memoriale Rituum as regards Holy Week. For Candlemas and Ash Wednesday, the rubrics of the 1962 Missal supersede the rubrics of the Memoriale.

    @Roman Sacristan:

    The last editio typica of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum was 1886. It has to be supplemented with the 1962 rubrics, especially for Holy Week (the new pontifical rubrics for this were issued in the book “Ritus Pontificalis Ordinis Hebdomadae Sanctae Instaurati” of 1957).

  36. Greg Smisek says:

    I believe this was mentioned in another thread, but the Roman Catholic Books reprint of the 1961/1962 Missal is currently being offered for half-price ($155) on their website. The instructions say to “use campaign code C50” to get the discounted price.

  37. Greg Smisek says:

    The Roman Catholic Books website is http://www.booksforcatholics.com/ (look for the “Missale Romanum 1962” links on the right-hand side).

  38. Greg: A good point. That is a much better price for that Missal. I hope they sell them all!

  39. Greg Smisek says:

    That 1939 editio iuxta typicam Vaticanam on eBay is beautiful, but it would have to be awfully difficult to say all those words without their initial letters (which are in red, except for the ornamented initials)…

  40. Serapion says:

    All Catholic Books (who I cannot recommend enough) currently has the Roman Catholic Books Missale Romanum on sale for $124.

    If that link does not work, you can go to allcatholicbooks.com and do a search for “missale romanum discount.”

  41. Le Renard says:

    All Catholic Books (who I cannot recommend enough)…

    Ditto on All Catholic Books.

    As a Traditional Catholic, it’s often difficult to find such items.
    I often find these here. Plus, most of the stuff there is heavily discounted.

    I hope and pray that more religious articles places start carrying these treasures of our Catholic Heritage.
    Unfortunately, many of the ones I know have closed down.

    May the Communion of Saints Pray for Us!

  42. REF says:

    Responding to Michael Garner on October 4 at 3:14 p.m.

    Another interesting thing about 1962 Missale Romanum I just caught. I have a copy of the Benziger edition with St. Joseph in the Canon, and the Gallican Prefaces with Card. Spellman’s imprimatur of October 10, 1963 (!) bound in to the final pages – BUT the Canon Missae for the Paschal Vigil does NOT include St. Joseph in the Canon!


  43. REF says:

    Responding to Fr. Bailey & Fr. Zuhlsdorf on 4 October, 9:08 p.m.:

    It is my understanding that there were significant enough numbers of requests for the use of the Vulgate psalms that the Breviarium was (re)issued with the old Psalter.

    I believe the FSSP set is in fact a reprint, not just a re-type setting of the Dessain Vulgate edition.

    And in front of me on my desk, as I type, is an original leather-covered and gilt-edged two volume set with the Decretum of 8 July 1961, entitled Breviarium Romanum – Cum textu psalmorum e Vulgata Bibliorum editione (Editio prima iuxta typicam).

    Published by Mame as Tomus Prior and Tomus Alter, psalms laid out in single column, all else in two. So yes, a 1961 Breviarium Romanum with the Vulgate psalter does in fact exist.

    And in superb condition with all the holy cards and inserts and finger ‘prayer’ stains from the priest who prayed it well!

    I got this at our local high school’s end of the summer book sale for the benefit of the public library: $1.00 per book!!

    Friends, just keep your eyes peeled – the old books may be disappearing fast now that the MP has been released: but until we get directions about what will be reprinted, and by whom, you can still find them – and good bargains at that! – in places you might least expect to find them!

    God-bless, and good-hunting!


  44. jrny says:

    This is somewhat related to the right/wrong liturgical books to use. Generally speaking, since the rubrical changes to the Mass & Office “accelerated” in the immediate years before and including 1962, it oftentimes happens that there arises ignorance (not willful) and misinformation concerning some of the more pertinent changes that did happen on the part of priests sayign the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. How does one who is reasonably knowledgeable of liturgical minutiae, “tell” his priest that he makes little mistakes a repeated number of times with such things as commemorations, prefaces, etc in such a way as to have the focus be on the message anbd not the messenger? I find this mostly to be an issue with non-FSSP/SSPX priests. The p[riestrs from these orders do have the advantage of learning the rubrics by immersion over so many years in the seminary that diocesan priests who now or will soon celebrate the older form didn’t have

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