REVIEW: Roman Missal from the Catholic Truth Society (UK) – spiffing!

At long last I received my new altar edition of the Roman Missal by the Catholic Truth Society in England. The book was ridiculously held up in customs. I have looked virtually all the new missals. I really like this one. It is an English edition, not an American edition. But that doesn’t make too much difference to me.

There was a story in the Catholic Herald about the making of these missals.


Opening the box you find that the book is within a cloth bag, to protect it.


The book’s outta da bag.  Beautiful.

Behold the Altar Missal edition.


Nice ribbons.


Here is a close up of the leather.


There is a little bit of padding under the leather of the bind, which gives the book a very nice feel.  The book feels valuable and special and worthy for use at the altar in front of people.




Turning to the inside, there is beautiful art.  The Magnificat edition also has a lot of art, most of it, if memory served, full-page.  I think I like this better.





This is what the musical notation looks like.


The tabs.


In the back there are tones for singing readings.  And some of the readings for some feasts are provided.


I was very pleased with this splendid book.  Again, it is a British edition of the Missale Romanum and, therefore, it does not have the adaptations for the USA.  Those don’t enter into play very much, except perhaps on days such as American Thanksgiving Day, for which there is a Mass formulary in the USA.

I am pretty sure that at this late date most of my priest friends have chosen their editions of the new Roman Missal.  However, if someone out there is not certain about what to get, I liked this wonderful volume.  Also, if you are looking for a nice gift for a priest, and you know he doesn’t have his own edition, check this out.

This book, along with some of the other editions I have seen, suggest that the silly season for liturgical books is well and truly over.  If the new CDW “team” for liturgical decorum and ars celebrandi is going to oversee (in some still nebulous way) things destined for sacred use, they are not going to have to worry that this book is unworthy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, REVIEWS, SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pinoytraddie says:

    Do you still celebrate the OF alongside the EF?

  2. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Is there a Latin appendix?

    The spine is very nicely done too BTW.

  3. Rob in Maine says:


    I know what “IC” and “XC” mean (they are the Greek Christogram for Jesus Christ), but what are the “NI” and “KA” sub crucis on the cover? A web search says ICXC NIKA stands for “Jesus Christ Conquers” but I couldn’t find a full translation of the Greek.

    Though The Jebs thought I must be clever enough to learn Latin, I never had the honor of learning Greek as a treat.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    I knew that the publishers were taking time to make it really nice. It is beautiful. As I love books and I am sure this one is worthy of affection, this one would be especially prized by any priest, I am sure. Customs is so weird. They will send through tons of food, puddings, pies, tea, etc. and stop a book.

  5. bigmikensc says:

    I received mine yesterday as well. Its similar to the one published by MTF. I plan on using this one the First Sunday of Advent.

  6. Peter G says:

    We have the same Missals here in Australia and yes,they are wonderful.
    I am a sacristan at my parish in Melbourne and the Missal takes a bit of getting used to in terms of setting it for Mass.
    One obvious improvement is the inclusion of the Preface with the other prayers ie. Collect etc.for special Feast Days.

  7. ecclesiae says:

    Goes this missal have the propers for the feast of Saint William of York on 8 June?

  8. jmvbxx says:

    Father, thanks for the great post.

    Quick question, is it valid for a priest to use a missal for England if they are located in the USA? I imagine so (for example in the case of a priest traveling on vacation or business). But I just wanted to confirm.

  9. Bryan Boyle says:

    I agree…splendid.

    FWIW…made a gift of the Magnificat edition to my local parish…to head off them sending any money to LTP or other suspect publishers (mostly those who slobber at the feet of Haugen, Haas, et al), but because it was such a nice edition, as is the one from Midwest Theological Forum.

  10. Joe in Canada says:

    Rob in Maine: yes, the verb “nika” means “he conquers. The pagan Greek goddess Nike (‘eta’ at the end, the long ‘a’) was the goddess of victory.
    It does indeed look worthy of a sacred Action and Place. But I don’t like having leather on the Altar.

  11. trad catholic mom says:

    Lovely, I’ve never seen an altar missal up close before.

  12. Me says:

    To anyone:

    Is there a Latin-English edition of the third edition of the Roman Missal?

    Is there a handheld Latin only edition of the Roman Missal that includes all the readings?

  13. albinus1 says:

    Quam pulchrum Missale!

    Rob — what you found online about IC XC NIKA is the complete translation. As you note, IC XC is “Jesus Christ” (the first and last letters of each word in Greek, in the nominative case); NIKA isn’t an abbreviation, but is the third person singular present indicative active of the Greek verb meaning “conquer” – so, NIKA = “conquers”. The corresponding noun is NIKH (where H is the Greek eta, essentially a long E), meaning “victory”, which you have probably seen as the name of a brand of athletic shoes.

    (PS to the philhellenes: yes, I know that NIKA should properly have an iota subscript, but the reason why these final iotas became written subscript was because they ceased to be pronounced by the Byzantine period, and thus could be omitted. An Athenian of the 5th-4th cent. BC would have written NIKAI.)

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    Yes, there are several available and many religious stores and online stores have them. They’re called Daily Roman Missals, 3rd Roman Edition. OSV has one, Magnificat has one and there are several others. If you scroll up a little bit on your right hand side of this page, you can search the Amazon tool there and find them, along with ISBN numbers. The least expensive type is about $60, with fancy bindings (leather etc) costing a little bit more. You can surf around the net to see what’s inside and compare them like Fr. Z did with the altar versions. Some of them have better illustrations than others; some of them have the Latin facing and some don’t, I believe.

  15. Mike Morrow says:

    Do these novus ordo altar missals contain the propers for the entire three-year novus ordo cycle? I would think that would require a ponderous altar missal, yet what I see carried around at the few NO services that I must attend are rather thin. Even this book seems thin, for so much material.

  16. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    Beautiful! CTS has most certainly done a marvelous job here.

    I wish my Latin Catholic brethren (AND those Anglo-Catholic brethren who choose to follow the guidance of Rome in this regard) a very happy and blessed celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Mass this weekend!

    On a side note, an LC Deacon friend shared with me that the diaconal parts of the missal have been moved to the back of the text. Did I understand him correctly and what might be the reason for this approach, instead of integrating the deacon’s role into the body of the main text?

  17. Bryan Boyle says:

    Mike: Altar missals do not have the readings. Those are in the Lectionary, which, for the three year cycle, is just as voluminous a tome as the MR. The propers are printed in readable, but smaller font size, for each day. The paper is really fine…think 15 lb paper (magazine covers are typically 70 or 80) , so, even if it has a lot of pages…you can print a lot of information. But the MR has all the propers in it (at least the ones that I’ve bought for my parish…)

  18. irishgirl says:

    That’s a very nice-looking Missal, Father Z! Very cool close-ups of the details!

  19. irishgirl says:

    And I should add, in ‘Brit-speak’: ‘spiffing, indeed!

  20. The book was ridiculously held up in customs.

    Well, of course, Homeland Security, ever-vigilant, would take a close look at any missale coming through our borders.

  21. Joe in Canada: Why wouldn’t you want leather on the altar? Leather is the best kind of binding there is, unless maybe you have a super-spiffy metallic and jeweled cover around. And parchment is basically a sort of leather, so it’s even a suitable material for inside a book. It’s much more enduring than even the best fabric covers, over the course of hundreds of years. I know a lot of parishes knock their liturgical books around and don’t repair them, but with decent care, leather can stay youthful all the same, like a good catcher’s glove.

    Of course, if your parish’s missal has a metallic cover, that’s pretty awesome and you should totally keep doing what you do!

  22. pfreddys says:

    As you bring up in previous posts about the corrected missals: is there an area where the Novus Ordo is presented in Latin?

  23. RichR says:

    pinoytraddie says:
    Do you still celebrate the OF alongside the EF?

    I was wondering the same….

  24. jaykay says:

    The CTS Missal is beautiful and very worthy of being used on the Altar. It re-establishes the link with the older tradition of Missals.

    Here in Ireland the Catholic publishing company Veritas has the sole rights for printing the new Missal. From what can be seen on their website i.e. the cover and a blurred shot of one page with musical notation it seems to be in the “tradition” of the 70s/80s!

    I may be – hope I am – wrong but as their website doesn’t show any further pages or the artwork, which they say is in full colour, it’s not possible to know. However I would hazard a guess that it’s the same old style, just updated for the new texts. Even the cover is not a patch on the CTS version. I’m not sure that it would be feasible for Priests here to buy the CTS version, as there would be a problem with the propers of the Saints: there are many local Irish Saints whose feasts would not be in a Missal for England and Wales.

  25. Charles E Flynn says:

    Scepter Publishers has the Daily Roman Missal, 7th Ed., available in both burgundy and black. There is a pdf of sample pages.

  26. Joe in Canada says:

    Suburbanbanshee: I don’t like the idea of a part of a dead animal on the Altar.

  27. dominic1955 says:

    That is what I was wondering about the no leather on the altar bit as well, what else do you bind a liturgical book in? Practically all of my liturgical books are leather bound and if you have one of those fancy metalic covers, the book underneath is still bound in leather.

  28. The British picked better art for their Missal. Ours has one picture from the Book of Kells, one by Evie Hone and another by Pyle (the latter both ‘modern’) and I can’t remember what the other is. I was hoping for something along the lines of the British one but alas, poor taste and political correctness remain the norm in Ireland.

  29. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Looks beautifully bound and nicely printed. I still can’t understand, however, why contemporary typographers insist on laying out the text as if it were poetry. Is this intended somehow to help the priest read the text? If so, it seems a bit like the reading primers we had in 1st grade. The ragged right margin and excessive white spice are distracting and not very aesthetically pleasing.

    P.S. Does one need to recite the prayers with an Oxbridge accent when using this edition?

  30. tianzhujiao says:

    Looks like a beautiful missal. It brings to mind the one published by the Midwest Theological Forum. Today I had the chance to go through a copy of their Regal Edition.

  31. Maltese says:

    Looks like a gorgeous example of book bindery, from its ridges to its ribbons to its hand-drawn gold lines under the ridges to its Orthodox-inspired lithographs!

    Reminds me of the Ted Turner-Vatican New Revised Standard Edition Bible, it’s a work of beauty to a defective form. The New Revised Standard is a defective Bible, the Novus Ordo a defective liturgy. See The Problem of the Liturgical Reform.

  32. One disadvantage to the UK/Australian missal is that for some reason (probably mistake) the tabs were attached to the wrong pages: one needs a tab on the page before the page one is turning to, otherwise one turns a page too far and has to turn back. I am trying to work out whether it would be possible to remove them and reattach them properly without spoiling the otherwise beautiful book.

  33. BobP says:

    When they add saints and prefaces to the real Roman (read Latin-only) Missal, we hope the binding is just as impressive if not more so.

  34. Elizabeth D says:

    CTS is a wonderful organization. Pamphlets (booklets) are what they are known for and they are terrific, high quality and well written, and on hundreds of different Catholic topics from morality to spirituality to to Saints to explaining the Faith. You can get a booklet on exorcism or on the real facts about Medjugorje or on the Catholic perspective on compassion for animals or natural family planning or on the Crusades or Bl John Henry Newman or Confirmation or praying with icons or discerning your vocation or the Catholic gifts to civilization or on humility or etc etc etc. They are like the Ignatius Press of pamphlets (and Ignatius is actually the US distributor of selected titles). They really deserve to be better known and more widely distributed in the US.

  35. It’s too bad publishers of missals are not bound to present the text in a bilingual (Latin-Vernacular) format. That would make it clear that the English text is merely a translation, and it might even encourage priests to say a prayer in Latin from time to time, if not (dare I say it) the entire Mass in Latin.

  36. Hugh Farey says:

    Apart from illustrations and book production, what is the difference between the English (UK) and American versions?

  37. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Hung up in customs? Its a MISSILE.

  38. Joan M says:

    “Apart from illustrations and book production, what is the difference between the English (UK) and American versions?”

    For hand Missals, anyway, it is the version of the Bible used. The US are still using that horrible NAB translation? Obviously, the UK would never use that one!!

  39. jaykay says:

    Sigh! Br. Tom Forde confirms above what I suspected would be the case here in Ireland. Same old, same old. The Irish liturgical establishment once again rises to its customary level of banality. Wait until you see the Eucharistic Congress next year. The 70s are not dead: must look up how ‘rise and shine and give God his glory’ goes :(

    At least the new texts will transcend the mediocrity of the production “standards” of the actual Missal.

Comments are closed.