If you are wondering what to give a more “traditional” priest

I received word that the 1952 edition of the Rituale Romanum is being sold in a so-called "study edition".  This is the edition in use at the time of the Vatican Council.  It is, of course, the Latin edition.

Summorum Pontificum derestricted the use of the Roman Ritual as well as the Roman Missal.  Pastors may choose to use the older Rituale Romanum for administering the sacraments, blessing, etc. 

Frankly, this is a great boon, especially in the line of blessings, since the newer, post-Conciliar De Benedictionibus ("Book of Blessings") is a total disaster.

The "study edition" of the 1962 Roman Missal is a nicely bound book with ribbons and the rubrics in red.  It could be used at the altar.   I am sure the new Ritual is the same.

Sometimes I get questions from people about what they can give priests for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, etc.  You might consider these books, especially the Rituale Romanum

They can be ordered from paxbooks.com.

There is also a reprint of a Latin-only 1944 edition of the traditional Roman Ritual.  I don’t know what changes might have been made to the 1955 edition.  Perhaps someone here can educate us.  My suspicion is that there were not many changes and, if there were, they might have had something to do with the funeral rites… but that is a guess.  This seems to be a handy pocket edition.  Useful for gravesides and other occasions.

Another option for the Rituale Romanum is the Latin/English volumes with the translation of the late Fr. Weller, which have been reprinted.  This is in three volumes.

The first is  The Roman Ritual [Rituale Romanum]: Vol 1: The Sacraments & Processions [Latin/English] then The Roman Ritual [Rituale Romanum]: Vol 2: Christian Burial, Exorcism, Reserved Blessings, etc [Latin/English].  Finally, Vol 3 has the blessings: Roman Ritual (Blessings, Volume 3)

You can get all three in a set at a reduced price.
A word about the blessing issue.

The new book, De Benedictionibus represents the very worst tendencies of post-Conciliar liturgical ideology and innovation.  The forward in the book, explaining its theory – always read forwards! – shows the will of the compilers to detroy the distinction between invocative and constitutive blessings.  The former calls God’s blessing down on a person and the later constitutes things, places, etc, as blessed.  Those blessings remove things from the temporal sphere and places them in the realm of the sacred.  The new book, in eliminating that distinction, eliminates the constitutive blessing.  If you read the prayers of the Book of Blessings, as the English edition is called, you will find that the prayers don’t really bless anything.  They basically suggest that God might bless some who looks at the statue, the bell, the medal, without actually contituting the object as a blessed thing. 

This is a grave problem.

There might be two, perhaps, blessings in the new book that, among the myriad options might bless something because the stick to the old language of the old books.  Also, the "blessings" in the new book also include absurd "liturgy of the word" preambles, on the model of all the other post-Conciliar rites.  Of all the post-Conciliar books, I think De BenedictionibusThe Book of Blessings – should simply be ash-canned and we should use the older Rituale Romanum.  I simply won’t use the new book.  

On a similar track, one would need to consider what was done to the new rite of exorcism, which is part of the Rituale Romanum

This is another grave problem

Even at the time of the release of the newer rite of exorcism, the Congregation’s then Prefect, Card Medina, understood that there were problems with it and, at the same time, said that bishops could authorize priests also to use the older rite, in the older Rituale Romanum.  Very wise.

Folks, our lives should be constantly filled with blessings.   That isn’t just a happy thought, but a reminder to ask for blessings from the priest! 

There should be, ideally, many more priests around so that our contact with them was far more common and their blessings could inform our days, the things they bless could be of help in our daily lives.  We should use sacramentals often and everywhere … for the enemy attacks us often and everywhere.  Thus, we need more and more priests who understand the difference between the older and new books, with their different theologies, and we must therefore put the right books into their hands.

You might consider making sure that your priests have these good tools.  The Weller set is particularly good for men whose Latin is perhaps not so strong.

Do yourselves and many others a favor.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I bought the 3 volume Weller set from the FSSP. It’s a great set. I completely concur with you, Fr. Z, about the novus ordo Book of Blessings. They’re terrible! I use the blessings from the Rituale as much as possible.

  2. Bob says:

    If a priest chooses to use the Rituale Romanum, is he required to use only the Latin text, or may he use the English translations? Or are there some things (e.g., sacraments) that must be in Latin while others (e.g., blessings) may be in English?

    Prior to the Second Vatican Council, was the use of the vernacular permitted for anything in the Rituale?

  3. anon says:

    Is there anywhere to get a pocket edition with Latin and English? If I remember correctly Fr. Finigan mentioned something of it in the podcast about the Merton Conference.

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    An aside note about Fr. Philip Weller, the translator of the three volume set. He was a priest of the diocese of La Crosse and spent his declining years in retirement in St. Paul, at the priests’ retirement center on the campus of the St. Paul Seminary (the retirement center had been named after former Coadjutor Archbishop Byrne, and was known by priests as the “Byrne Unit”).

    A number of the older and holy priests in and around St. Paul Seminary and St. Thomas College spoke highly of Fr. Weller, as did some of the older priests in La Crosse who knew him in his more active days. He died quietly and without much fanfare, despite the fact that a generation or more of priests used his life’s work on a daily basis.

  5. Pater, O.S.B. says:

    I recall that the USCCB write up of the provisions of the motu proprio mention the Collectio Rituum for the United States of 1961 which is out of print. This addition gives the guidelines for the use of the vernacular in these rites according to the legislation at the time. In 1964, I believe, permission was given for the vernacular (except for the sacramental forms ?). These newer rules mention the translations provided in the Collectio Rituum as the ones to be used for those rites contained in that volume. For all the other rites, the translations provided in Fr. Weller’s three volume work are to to be used.
    What’s most interesting is that the USCCB website notes that the Collectio Rituum is out of print, and provides as an alternative the Ritual sold by the FSSP website at the time, which again brings us back to the Fr. Weller edition of the Rituale. As for what can be done in the vernacular, I am not sure what can be done beyond the limits laid out in the Collectio Rituum. Fr. Weller published his work when very little could be done in the vernacular (at least in the States). His translations were for comprehension. Whatever other provisions for the vernacular, I assume, will be made clear with later clarification from Rome.

  6. Tim: I remember old Weller. He used to come over to St. Agnes for vespers and then sit at the rectory for a while before going home.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    I have recently been looking through the revised rites after Vatican II. The powers-that-be made so much extra work themselves. Case in point is the Book of Blessings, with the Liturgy of the Word, etc. Does this happen anywhere in the world? Usually these “blessings” take place during Mass.

    The old Roman Ritual does have its shortcomings, I think. There is no blessing for Advent Wreaths, Christmas Trees, the Christmas Creche, etc… although one could say the new Book of Blessings doesn’t really have these blessings either! ;-)

  8. Chris says:

    “Summorum Pontificum derestricted the use of the Roman Ritual as well as the Roman Missal.”

    Father, was that just for the typical parish priest? Whether it was for a baptism or a house blessing or a car blessing, our FSSP priest has only ever used a 1929 ritual book for years.

  9. Fr. James says:

    There is also a Weller volume that is in English only. If the priest has no Latin at all this would still be better then the current Book of Blessings.

  10. Father Klingele says:

    In the 1962 edition of the Priest’s Ritual (a truly pocket edition) compiled from the Vatican typical edition and the Collectio Rituum with an imprimatur on Jan. 17, 1961, and a copyright for 1962 (Benziger), the following explanation is given before the section of blessings:

    “In accordance with the new edition of the Collectio Rituum (approved October 11, 1959) the use of English alone is permissible only in those portions of the rite where it is printed in parallel columns with the Latin in the above-mentioned Collectio Rituum. This edition of the ‘Priest’s Ritual’ contains the rites for Baptism of one or more infants, for the Supplying of Ceremonies of Baptism, for Extreme Unction and Matrimony in accordance with the new Collectio Rituum. Thus for Baptism the left-hand page contains the Latin text only, whereas the right-hand pages give the parts that may be said in English only. For Extreme Unction and Matrimony the Latin and English are arranged in parallel columns to indicate what parts may be said in English only. All the other rites and blessings contained in this Ritual must be performed in Latin only.* For many of the prayers and blessings, however, English translations have been added after the Latin text to serve as a guide for the instruction of the faithful.

    *An exception is made in regard to many of the prayers for the sick and the dying which may still be said in English only as has been the custom in this country.”

    For example, all the ritual of baptism may be celebrated in English except for the blessing of salt, the two exorcisms, the Ephpheta, the In odorem suavitatis, the anointing with the oil of catechumens, the form of baptism, and the anointing with the oil of Sacred Chrism.

    From this, it seems that if one follows the books of 1962, one cannot use the translations from Father Weller for the celebration of the rites, especially since these were given for the instruction and edification of the priest and faithful. His translation of the rite of Baptism differs from the approved English parts of the 1962 Priest Ritual.

  11. Father Klingele says:

    From 1954 Collectio Rituum to the 1961 Collectio Rituum (as found in the “Practical Handbook anf Rites and Blessings and Prayers” arranged under the direction of Archbishop William Brady fo St. Paul and edited by Msgr. Richard Doherty,with a Aug. 15, 1961 imprimatur) the following were at least some of the changes made:
    “Pax vobis” and “Quo nomine vocaris” at the beginning were dropped (although the 1964 Collectio Rituum pro Diocesibus Civitatem Foederatarum Americae Septentrionalis with English translations of 1964 includes this greeting and question)

    The final prayer is dropped as well (the 1964 edition does not bring it back)

  12. Father Klingele says:

    The 1964 Collectio Rituum for the US, following Sacrosanctum Concilium, permits all in the vernacular. It used the translations of the 1961 Collection Rituum for the US supplemented by some translation found in the 1954 Collectio Rituum for the US. It used the Father Weller translations for other rites included.

    The 1954 letter from the Sacred Congregation of Rites to the US tells us: “In administratione Baptismi parvulorum, solo in textu latino ponantur ac proinde semper et sola lingua hac dicantur exorcismi, omnes formulae unctionum ac benedictionum, nec non et ipsa Baptisma forma.”

    In this 1954 letter, Pope Pius XII apparently gives an indult to the US to use English for the parts which is this Ritual are translated (same as mentioned above for the 1961 edition).

    In the 1961 edition, Practical Handbook of Rites Blessings and Prayers, the preface says: “Where English and Latin appear in parallel columns, as for example on page 4, the English may be used instead of the Latin. In these cases English is an authentic liturgical language. When, however, it appears after Latin formula, as for example on page 168, it may, at the priest’s option, be read after the Latin formula has been completed; it is thus read solely for the instruction of the people, according to the directive of the Roman Ritual, Tit., I, Cap. I, No. 10.”

    The introduction of the same 1961 edition says: “the Collectio of 1954 has no further value; that the only use of the English permitted by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, till now, is what is indicated in the new Collectio contained in these pages. Any other formulae in English (for sacramental administration, for blessings, etc.) are intended merely for the instruction of the people. They are not to be used in the actual blessings or giving of sacraments.” And: “We have reproduced this new Collectio Rituum since we wish our clergy to have at hand, without delay, the latest and the only forms for the administration of the Sacraments in which the English language may be used in the United States.”

  13. Houghton G. says:

    I have used a 1944 Latin-only Roman Missal (a hand missal designed for use on sick calls etc.) at Mass for a number of years. Of course the Assumption liturgy was significantly revised (massively redone might be closer) in 1950 and then there were the reforms of the Holy Week liturgy by Pius XII in 1950. To that degree, at least, a 1944 Missal will be problematic, but perhaps that doesn\’t really matter too much.

  14. Houghton G. says:

    I should say, I have used this missal as a layman, as my pew hand missal for a number of years. It happened to be what Loome Theological Booksellers had on hand when, dissatisfied that most Latin-English hand missals didn’t give the Latin for some of the orationes, I asked Loome for a Latin-only hand missal.

  15. Houghton G. says:

    reform of the Holy Week liturgies “in the 1950s,” not, “in 1950.”

  16. Pater, O.S.B. says:

    The document which mentions the unavailability of the Collectio Rituum is “40 Questions on Summorum Pontificum” (This is different from what is on the website). It was included with a letter to the U.S. bishops from Bishop Trautmann in order to provide resources for the motu proprio. Here is the question about the edition of the Ritual to be used, thoughI am not sure how the 1964 legislation fits in with all this:

    12. Which edition of the Roman Ritual may be used for the celebration of the extraordinary
    form of the Sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the
    Rite of Funerals?14

    While Summorum Pontificum makes reference only to “the older ritual,” it may be presumed that
    this is the ritual in force in 1962. In the dioceses of the United States of America, that was the
    Collectio rituum, ad instar Appendicis Ritualis Romani in Usum Cleri Archdioecesium et
    Dioecesium Fœderatorum Americæ Septentrionalis Civitatum (1961). While this edition is no
    longer in print, the 1964 edition, which contains several minor adaptations introduced between
    1960 and 1962, is available from the Priestly Society of Saint Peter Publications Service.15

    Here’s the attached footnote:

    15 Griffin Rd., PO Box 196, Elmhurst, PA 18416: http://store.fraternitypublications.com/official-liturgical-

    A Google search of the title should get you access.

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