REVIEW: Vatican’s new 1962 Missale Romanum

You may have heard that the Vatican Press published their own version of the editio typica 1962 Missale Romanum.  We knew about this, of course, but now I said Mass with it this weekend.

Through  paxbooks $334.

Every parish, every priest, every seminarian, every school and convent chapel needs a 1962 Missale Romanum.

Here are a few shots so you can see what it is like.

1962 Missale Romanum

This is an altar missal, in beautiful red leather.

1962 Missale Romanum

The cover is reinforced.

1962 Missale Romanum

1962 Missale Romanum

The paper is heavy and textured.

1962 Missale Romanum

1962 Missale Romanum


1962 Missale Romanum

1962 Missale Romanum

The Canon.

1962 Missale Romanum

St. Joseph.

1962 Missale Romanum

This is important for a celebrant: the text is arranged well so that the page turns come at convenient moments.

1962 Missale Romanum

It is an attractive book.

1962 Missale Romanum

1962 Missale Romanum

Title page.

1962 Missale Romanum

1962 Missale Romanum

Bottom line: I want one.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. How much would this cost?

  2. wanda says:

    That is a beautiful book, Father. Methinks it should be added to your wish list.

  3. Denis Crnkovic says:

    “Attractive’ is an understatement. This looks like a magnificent production. The classic (Garamond?) typeface, the traditional red/black colours (note that the red is closer to vermilion than to the purplish mawk one often sees on laser printed material), the proportional use of white space around the margins and the wide leading for the Canon – all these reveal a mastery of typography that is so me missing these days in liturgical books. What’s more, even if the Missal is printed using an offset process, one gets the impression (pun intended) of high quality letterpress. The heavy weight paper adds to the sense of care and beauty. It looks like the binding is also substantial, with reinforced hinges and nice endpapers. Sorry to say that the reprint of the Benzinger Brothers 1962 edition is not nearly as beautiful as this one. Bottom line: I want one, too.

  4. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Erratum: I meant to say “Caslon” for the typeface.

  5. wanda: I can’t add it to the wish list, alas. Amazon doesn’t carry it. It is available through Paxbooks.

  6. MLivingston says:

    It’s 210 EU, says one site I saw. What’s that in American? Where do we order one?

  7. MLivingston says:

    Today, that’s about $291 in American. Looks well worth it.

  8. HighMass says:

    Absolutely Beautiful!

    Question for Fr. Z,
    When selecting Music For a High Mass (mass parts) can we us Misse De Angelus in October? i.e. Sunday October 17, 2010?
    Thank You and God Bless

  9. Jayna says:

    Forget my priest, I want one.

  10. Rob Cartusciello says:


  11. Henry Edwards says:

    It looks like the Vatican has done a much more beautiful and substantial job in publishing this EF Roman Missal than it’s ever done with the OF Roman Missal. Just compare that illuminated Te igitur and facing page with the pitiful refrigerator-door mommy’s darling crayon art in the 2002 Missale Romanum.

    What’s wrong with those folks over there in Rome? Can’t they get their priorities straight?

  12. raitchi2 says:

    That is a lot cheaper than the Benzinger Brothers. Theirs goes for about $500 on St. John Cantius’ website.

  13. Are all the ribbons red? That seems less than convenient.

    I assume one difference between the Benzinger edition and this one is that this one doesn’t have the American propers.

    I’m afraid I have to disagree a little about the page turns… that one at the Memento seems less than convenient. At a Missa Cantata the MC typically steps away at that point so as to not overhear the names, then the priest will have to wait for the MC to step back before proceeding. It’s not terrible, but it will alter the rhythym of the thing from what many of us are used to.

  14. wanda says:

    Whew, that is quite a price tag. Is there any way to set up a kind of pitch-in card thingy? If, we could get a few (or more than a few) wdtprs’ers together it would be very much more do-able. What do you think, Father?

  15. ajurban says:

    This is much, much cheaper than anything I have seen offered in the US. This will surely go on my ordination wishlist.

  16. tianzhujiao says:

    Father, It is a beautiful missal. With the exception of the front/back cover designs, it looks very similar to an original 1962 printing of Vatican “editio typica” Missale Romanum that I have. It was given to me years ago by a seminarian friend who rescued it from being trashed.

  17. TrueLiturgy says:

    Father, what about the Prayers for the Jews on Good Friday? Was it edited? I know that there was talk about doing such a thing back during the first Good Friday after SP came out. :-\

  18. jcons114 says:

    Beautiful book…but “every priest, seminarian”? I know that a priest should be able to say the Mass in Latin but not every priest and seminarian will want to say the usus antiquior. If they want it,and want to USE it, then they should get it.

  19. jcons114: You are suggesting that seminarians and priests should not not actually posses the tools they need as priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

    I think priests should have all the tools for their Rite, and not remain half-equipped for their role in the Church.

  20. RichardT says:

    It certainly looks beautiful inside, and the binding seems to be very well done.

    But why did they use those awful dipsy 1070s images for the embossing on the front cover? Is it so that seminarians in modernist seminaries can hide it?

  21. Caeremoniarius says:

    Wonderful to see this beautiful book reprinted! A priest friend of mine has a 1962 Vatican Missal, of which this is an exact reprinting (I guess they kept the plates–smart!), and I always envied it. The Canon plate is a reproduction of that in Alexander VI’s Christmas Missal. The cover design is fine too (very 1962, really); if you don’t like it, you won’t care for the beautiful illustrations inside either.
    There is no difficulty, incidentally, with the page tabs at the Memento; given that the Celebrant does not express the names at “N. et N.”, the M.C. at sung Mass or the Deacon at solemn Mass does not leave the Missal at that time either. When practicing for my friend’s first Mass with this Missal, no problem arose.

  22. ColumbusCatholic says:

    It’s nice to see that it doesn have “1962” stamped on the front like some of the older reproductions of the Missal. I think it’s a good indication that the Pope wants this to be an intagral part of Catholic life!

  23. lucy says:

    I’m in with Wanda. If we pitched it together, it wouldn’t be too bad.

    I’ll keep this in mind for a seminarian I know who will be graduating many years from now – I have time to save !

  24. dominic1955 says:

    The front cover design is not bad, its on par with the contemporary 1962 Missals out there. Not what I would have chosen, but not bad at all.

    As to the internals, I have a giant Missale from the 1930s (from Regensburg during the reign of Pius XI) that surpasses it internally, but this new Vatican edition looks (from the pics) like it holds its own with the common missals of the last century or so.

    I’ve also had the chance to look through the NO Latin Missals and none of them are as good. The 1970s books are just plain ugly and even the newer 2002 edition has crappy artwork though the binding and overall quality is much better. Both are better than the American made English language missals. Sorry, but they come across as very mass produced and cheap. If it were just a textbook that I have to pay $80 for, fine. But for a book used to say Holy Mass, it should be much better than some secular textbook. It looks like they saved the best effort for the better missal. Cheers to the Vatican Polyglot Press!

    If I had the money, I’d buy a glut of them for all the priests I know who wanted to say the traditional Mass. There are many old missals out there, but I’m sure its nice to have a new book with all the proper things in it.

  25. moriartyf says:

    I saw this Missal in the Vatican book store when I was there in May. It is beautiful. I do have to agree that there would be an issue at the Memento. I serve as MC periodically (Missa Cantata) and I do step away at that point, so the Priest would need to turn the page himself or wait.

  26. Tina in Ashburn says:

    WHAT? nobody wants an iPad version?

    Father, for wishlist items not on Amazon, I have used their Universal Wishlist which allows you to add stuff not offered by Amazon. To mine, I have added items from Catholic websites for instance.

  27. wanda says:

    How about if a few (or more than a few) wdtrps’ers just hit the DONATE button conveniently located below? Father can set up a little piggy-bank towards the new beautiful missal. A little bit from many folks would have it covered in no time! Come on, you know you want to, then you can relax with a nice hot cup of, you know, from the Mystic Monks?

  28. frdgss says:

    It looks a very handsome volume indeed. My only gripe is that they have used the same cheap, glued ribbons as the 2003 Ed.Typ. Missale Romanum (with the kindergarten illustrations).
    I want one too!

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