Several priests have asked me my opinion about editions of the Roman Missal with the new, corrected English translation.
They don’t know which version to purchase and wanted my insights.
One priest wrote with additional information.
Here’s the list:
Liturgical Press Ritual edition
Midwest Theological Forum Classic and Regal editions
Catholic Book Publishing Co. Chapel Edition
(Note: Link for the Altar Edition didn’t work, but Chapel Edition is the same layout and graphics as Altar, only smaller)
World Library Publications Deluxe Leather edition
Magnificat Altar edition
Actually, after I emailed you I noticed that New Liturgical Movement has a post regarding the different editions of the New Missal that some priests are commenting on.
I purchased the primo $500 Midwest Theological Forum Missal and have received it. It is beautiful, especially the artwork; but after years of using Catholic Book Pub. Co. there are things that bother me about it.
CBPC is formatted better in my opinion: They indent the Presidential Prayers and put the Rubrical words “Collect” “Prayer over the Offerings” “Prayer after Communion” in the left hand margin, which makes each prayer easy to locate on the page.
In contrast, MTF has these words above each respective prayer and everything on the page left justified, which makes all the prayers kind of bunched together. The Proper of Saints Section of CBPC is also much better laid out: saints with 3 proper presidential prayers always start at the top of the page and fill the whole page. In contrast, MTF just has one saints feast day after another, so that the Collect for St. Luke is at the bottom of one page and you have to flip the page to get the other two prayers.
Lastly, while the font is bigger on the MTF (a plus), it is smaller on the Sung Prefaces than CBPC for some strange reason.
I’ve been taking the MTF out of the box and CAREFULLY looking at it (in case I end up returning it) to see if I can get used to it; I think I’m starting to.
I’m finding the whole decision on what Missal to buy rather stressful, as whichever one I choose I will have to live with day in and day out for years, maybe decades to come. Perhaps this is akin to what single people feel like when choosing a spouse to marry!
May I suggest a Latin mail-order “bride”? Perhaps a little older?
Seriously, for my part, I have seen only one so far, by the Catholic Book Publishing Corp. (CBPC). The pages are laid out pretty much in the manner, look and type-face, of the lame-duck Sacramentary, which leaves me less than edified. It reminds me of the bad old days, but with better artwork. brrrr
I noted, however, a serious problem. The aforementioned CBPC volume includes no Latin texts for Mass. This is a serious drawback.
In the bad old Sacramentary you can turn to an appendix and find all the basic Latin texts needed to say the Novus Ordo in Latin. The type is smaller and the texts are cramped, but a priest can say Mass in Latin from the bad old Sacramentary.
Not so with the shiny new book. No sirree.
While the new, corrected translation represents a marked improvement in the English language celebration of Mass, the book itself suggests something I suspected might happen may be happening.
Is the determination to exclude Latin from an appendix a signal by the USCCB liturgy committee to suggest avoiding the use of Latin for the Ordinary Form?
“But Father! But Father!”, some of you aging hipsters might be crowing. “You can always get the Latin edition of the Missale Romanum! There’s no English in that book! HAR HAR!”
Very droll. No, the real issues is one of identity. We who use the Roman Missal or the Missale Romanum are members of the Latin Church. The vernacular book for Mass for the Latin Church ought to have the basic Latin texts as well. Sacrosanctum Concilium said that Latin must be retained and that modern languages could be used. The Council Fathers said that pastors of souls be make sure that their flocks know how to respond in both Latin and their own tongue to all the parts that pertain to them.
But the new book, at least from the CBPC, excludes Latin. Dissonant to say the least.
For years I have complained about the phrase “the Latin Mass” to describe the Extraordinary Form, long-nicknamed the “Tridentine” Mass. That phrase perpetuate a lie, namely, that the Novus Ordo was not to be celebrated in Latin. “The Latin Mass”, to my mind, should have been applied – should still be applied – to any Mass, older form or newer, celebrated in the Latin language. I was worried when Summorum Pontificum was promulgated that some people would widen the gulf between the older form of Mass and the new, post-Conciliar form, but segregating Latin solely in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.
Are my fears being realized? If so, then the point Pope Benedict made about mutual enrichment in his promulgation of Summorum Pontificum has been subtly undermined by the choice to exclude any Latin texts from the new edition of the Roman Missal.
However, this seems to be an American phenomenon. And I don’t think the American publishers can argue that there is no room for Latin in the book.
The CTS, publishers in England, confirmed by telephone that the 2008 Latin texts are included in their beautiful edition of the Roman Missal. The nice folks at CTS are sending me a copy of their altar missal. No American company has made such an offer. If they do, their books will get a fair review. Considering how many priests read this blog, they might want to get on the stick. [CORRECTION: I had a note today from the editor of CTS who said that the information given on the phone was wrong. The CTS edition does NOT, in fact, have also the Missale Parvum in Latin. RATS!]
Priests may wish to complain to the publishers and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the USCCB’s office for liturgy about the absence of basic Latin texts for Mass in the appendix.
PRIESTS: Chime in with your observations.