REVIEW: St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass – WOW!

One of the fruits of Benedict XVI’s pontificate has been the freeing of the older form of Holy Mass. His Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum was like an “emancipation proclamation”. Slowly but surely the use of the older Roman forms is spreading.

With that growth come new resources.

One such is the new St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass.

I had received a review copy some time ago, but hadn’t the energy or time to dig into it. Then I received a note from one of the long time readers here about this hymnal. He wrote:

I believe the appearance of this new TLM missal & hymnal–reflecting as it does the beauty of the TLM itself–to be a significant post-Summorum Pontificum event, particularly for TLM newcomers not having a prior hand missal devotion.

Our TLM community is selling copies to individuals, and has not been able to keep up with demand. Ordered 25 copies, then 50 more, then 100 more. Virtually everyone who sees one, wants one.

Upon a first look, it immediately occurred to me that only the TLM could inspire such beauty in a missal or hymnal, just as the Novus Ordo as we know it would never have inspired such beautiful vestments as befit the TLM.

And I’ve seen its effect on others at first look. We’ve been showing it after Mass, and I’ve not personally seen anyone look at one without wanting to buy it, right then and there. Which is why our multiple re-orders, trying to keep up.

Which convinces me of its significance for the TLM, especially its appeal to TLM newcomers without a traditional hand missal devotion. Its appearance is a significant event for our own community that embraces growing TLM groups throughout our diocese.

I like the observation about “a traditional hand missal devotion”.  In yesteryear, people would receive a hand missal perhaps for first Communion or Confirmation, they might upgrade to a full, adult version later and then keep it all their lives, stuffed with holy cards and memorial cards and ordination cards, holding it closed with a rubber band.

The new St. Campion hymnal/missal isn’t in that same small format, but it has advantages that the older, traditional hand missal, such as those now produced by Baronius Press and Angelus Press, don’t have.

With those things in mind, here are some pics, which will give you a sense of what he is talking about.

First, this is a hard cover book, the size of a hymnal, rather than a hand missal.  That means the print and everything else is larger.


You can see the sections.  I am a little concerned that the angular corners will get worn quickly.

It would be helpful to have a couple ribbons.



Sorry about the fuzzy, but you get the sense.


And there is the art work!


In the back there is a Kyriale… a section with the basic chants for the Ordinary of Mass… meaning that the congregation can sing.  SHOULD sing in more cases!


It is not light-weight.



Side by side with the Baronius Press hand missal.


Okay, let’s have more interior shots… ’cause it is quite spiffy.


There are two sections for the Ordinary, for Solemn Mass and for Low Mass.



This was interesting.  They included some images of ancient manuscripts which demonstrate the antiquity of what we do as Catholics during Holy Mass.  This, below, is the beginning of the Roman Canon in the “Stowe Missal” which dates to about 750 AD.



The section for the Ordinary for Low Mass.


Not bad, huh?  The book has great appeal.  By its beauty, it could be a great help to people who are first getting interested in the older form.

For more information… click HERE.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Benedict XVI, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, REVIEWS, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Supertradmum says:

    Thanks for all the photos. I put this on my blog earlier this week and was begging for a reader to buy me one. No takers yet.

    Love the name as well.

  2. mamajen says:

    What a beautiful book! I can understand the appeal. I am surprised at the very affordable price as well. If only I had an opportunity to use it.

  3. David Zampino says:

    That is beautiful! I’m going to order one as soon as I can!

  4. Kevin Fogarty says:

    Yes it’s a nice missal and the price is surprisingly low.
    I wondered about the men in the photos. Are they priests or stand ins?

  5. Scott W. says:

    Ordered mine today as the new organist has selected it for use in our EF Mass, but I wanted my own copy.

    I ordered by phone by a very friendly lady. The shipping came to $4.88. Now I have to chomp at the bit for the seven to ten days for it to get here.

  6. Scott W. says:

    P.S. I suppose my only very minor quibble is that the hymns as far as I can tell are melody only and I would have liked to see a choir edition with SATB arrangements.

  7. wmeyer says:

    I just learned two days ago that my uncle has ordered one for me! Now I am even more excited!!

  8. Kevin, the priests in the 100+ color photos that illustrate the celebration of Holy Mass are priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). As explained in the foreword by Fr. John Berg, superior general of the FSSP, they were taken at the Fraternity’s parish church in Rome and at the church at its general house in Friborg, Switzerland. However, some in this country may recognize U.S. priests in these photos. For instance, the celebrant in the photos above is Fr. James Fryar, pastor of the FSSP parish in Sarasota, Florida (who is frequently seen in the daily web cast from there).

  9. John Nolan says:

    When attending Low Mass I use a reprint of the Saint Andrew Daily Missal (1945) with its excellent commentaries which apart from anything else put the Mass in the context of the Office. That has the Kyriale in modern notation, but that’s not a problem since at High Mass I would be armed with the Liber Usualis.

  10. wolfeken says:

    Beautiful book. I hope, though, it’s not so pretty and interesting that visitors (and sadly some regulars) never look up during Mass.

    There are times when the Pope himself could walk across the sanctuary during Mass at Saint X and half the congregation would have no earthly idea the Pontiff was in their church.

    Use the book as a guide. At the same time: LOOK UP! Mass is being offered in the sanctuary, not on the floor in front of you.

  11. Scott W. says:

    Use the book as a guide. At the same time: LOOK UP! Mass is being offered in the sanctuary, not on the floor in front of you.

    Ok mom. :)

  12. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Wolfeken — Keeping your eyes lowered is a sign of respect. Also, mental participation with the eyes closed is just as full a sign as having the eyes open, or blind people would be doing something bad. To be lost in prayer is desirable; by the nature of prayer, anyone caught up in thinking about God is participating deeply in what’s going on up at the altar.

    But if you grant your own contention — that you should be watching Mass — what are you doing watching other people instead of Mass? Obviously your eyes aren’t focused on the altar, either. :)

  13. Legisperitus says:

    I bought a set of insertable ribbon markers for my copy. Had to trim the cardboard down because the binding is pretty tight, but it’s working OK. Grateful that I don’t have to use my bifocals with this book. :)

  14. JMGDD says:

    The paper used appears to be “standard weight” for a hardcover book, with glossy pages for the photographs. Am I correct? I would be more likely to use this one than the Baronius missal, which has super-thin pages.

  15. Therese says:

    Gorgeous photo section on the Mass. I’m getting a copy. Corpus Christi Watershed has an excellent Web presence, by the way, where they are doing good work.

    We have so much to be thankful for with Pope Benedict XVI. Summorum Pontificum has opened the floodgates. Surely it can’t be much longer before the TLM is in my parish, too. ;-)

  16. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Our pastor had two for perusal and sale if anyone wanted one. I couldn’t resist, though I don’t need another missal! It is beautifully done; and I was pleased to see that the FSSP was a part of it. The painting of the Trinity hangs over the high altar of the FSSP parish in Rome. Beautiful! The hymns are for congregational singing, many not well known, but easy to learn. The large print is a plus for people my age, but it is a heavy book to be carrying to Mass. My daily missal is heavy enough (Angelus Press rather than Baronius – same difference). It’s great that they included the extensive kyriale and chants. Let it be known, however, that this is not a DAILY missal. It is for Sundays, feast days, Holy Week and such. It would be a nice missal to have in the pews for those parishes which could afford it.

  17. AvantiBev says:

    I have been using my new Campion Missal for two weeks now. Yes, it is beautiful and not light weight. But the print is easy on …ahem…mature eyes and the arrangement is just beautiful. I keep my other Missal for saint’s feast days and the propers of those weekday Masses but I plan to use this one every Sunday.

  18. McCall1981 says:

    I’m a new Catholic and new to the Latin Mass. I’ve been looking around to find a missal and this looks perfect for me. What great timing, thanks Fr. Z!

  19. acardnal says:

    I received my copy last week. I think it is a wonderful missal/hymnal – especially for the low price! I think I paid around $22.

    I also noted the lack of ribbons in this missal particularly in light of their complementary missal/hymnal for the Novus Order, “The Vatican II Hymnal”, which DOES have ribbons!

    Also, I very much appreciate the photos of the early texts of the Mass from the first millennium as you noted in your review. Cool!

  20. Robert_H says:

    I very much enjoy my St. Campion missal. Everyone I’ve shown it to has commented on the sheer beauty of it.

    My only two quibbles are the need for a ribbon or two, like Fr Z mentioned, and the prompt to turn to the Propers isn’t very prominent. When you have a bunch of wiggly children to keep an eye on, those features would both come in handy.

    @Scott W – The publishers, Corpus Christi Watershed, have a organ accompaniment you can purchase and their website says they are coming out with the SATB scores soon.

    @McCall1981 – Welcome aboard, fellow convert!

  21. Rellis says:

    This would make a great pew resource (a la the V2 Hymnal), but it strikes me as a pretty poor choice for a hand missal. It’s too big, it’s too inflexible, and it won’t take a beating outside a pew.

  22. APX says:

    We were discussing these two Sundays ago, and the issue that came up repeatedly was the size of them. I would buy one simply for its eye-candy appeal, but I wouldn’t haul it to Mass with me (unless I had to go to an OF Mass that I had a good inkling would leave me livid with rage. Then I could focus on the beautiful images and not Deacon Crooner at the Pulpit with his guitar, or Joe Cantor singing some power ballad re-write of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” complete with emotional arm movements like I’m at a Celine Dion concert, while the guy sitting next to me is eating candy or drinking some Starbucks.).

    I’m not really a fan of using a Missal during Mass except if it’s a special Mass like during the Triduum, or for the readings. I tend to get wrapped up in the actual Mass itself and its sheer awesomeness. Is it really that important that I’m following along to what the priest is praying, or is my personal internal participation not sufficient? I find Missals more of a distraction than anything.

  23. acardnal says:

    APX, you should consider recording – on video even! – those goofy Masses and send a copy to the bishop, Apostolic Nuncio and the CDWDS.

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  25. Scott W. says:

    Then I could focus on the beautiful images and not Deacon Crooner at the Pulpit with his guitar, or Joe Cantor singing some power ballad re-write of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” complete with emotional arm movements like I’m at a Celine Dion concert, while the guy sitting next to me is eating candy or drinking some Starbucks.

    Please tell me this is an exaggeration and not something you witnessed. :)

  26. netokor says:

    I hope our Parish will order them for our Latin Mass community. It is lovely imho. Although I didn’t have much time to browse it, it passed my preliminary test: I looked at the English Christmas Carol “God rest ye merry gentlemen” and found the reassuring verse “from God our Heavenly Father.” The available hymnal, which I call “the green-cover monster which doth mock the feminist and liberal meat it feeds on” has a pc word instead of “Father.” I hate that green thing. Next Sunday I’ll find out if the SEC hymnal has the original “let men their songs employ” in “Joy to the World.” I am a little nervous.

  27. Legisperitus says:

    JMGDD: Even the text pages are somewhat glossy, which occasionally causes some glare across the text in strong light.

  28. Scott W. says:

    Someone from the CMAA forums (who apparently is lost in the approval process for this blog) asked if someone could post two points:

    1. It is intended as a pew missal rather than a hand missal.

    2. There is an instructional video for it here:

  29. APX says:

    Scott W
    Please tell me this is an exaggeration and not something you witnessed.
    No exaggeration. I’m praying that this year’s priest assignments come with changes that the Cathedral will have a different pastor, and if not that, as requested by a newly ordained priest, that one of the soon-to-be ordained priests doesn’t get stuck there with him as an associate pastor.

    I watched the video for this Missal, and I still don’t see how the bookmark is sufficient. They left out the part about the preface which changes, which will require an extra flip. I can see these as being a replacement to those red missilettes and having to replace the print outs every Sunday.

  30. Scott W. says:

    P.S. It turns out that “someone” who wanted the clarifications posted here was none other than the Missal’s editor Jeff Ostrowski.

  31. acardnal says:

    Addendum: Correction to my post at 11:47 am above. I have just learned that the ribbons I saw in the “Vatican II Hymnal” at my parish did NOT come from the publisher. The ribbons were added by parish personnel. So . . . it would be nice if both books came with ribbons.

  32. wmeyer says:

    I find Missals more of a distraction than anything.

    That will change, with experience. I find them helpful, especially when people around me are distracted and distracting, or when the priest’s accent, coupled with poor acoustics, makes it sometimes difficult to follow. They are also excellent for use prior to Mass, in clearing your mind of outside distractions.

  33. acardnal says:

    I agree with wmeyer. Missals are also helpful for reading the day’s scripture readings ahead of time and meditating on them. They also have prayers and essays and other useful material.

  34. wmeyer says:

    My missal has a large section of prayers; prayers before Mass, prayers after Mass, prayers for various occasions. It is a daily missal, so has all the readings for all the days, and I normally arrive 20 minutes or so early for Mass, to have time for prayers and meditation. Then I can be properly disposed for the Eucharist.

  35. APX says:


    I’ve been attending the EF Mass for almost two years now. The more I attend Mass the less compelled I feel to use a Missal. I find myself more drawn to attach my heart to the Mass and follow it that way than trying to sub-vocalize all of the prayers throughout Mass. I don’t want to use my Missal, and I hate feeling pressured to use it otherwise I’m not “actively participating”. This is why I prefer the EF over the OF. There’s less liturgical participation and more contemplative participation.

  36. Clemens Romanus says:

    Yes, it is intended as a pew Missal.

  37. wmeyer says:

    APX, to each his own. Back when the Mass was always in Latin, I used a missal, and now that I routinely attend the OF, I use a missal. My only option for the EF is almost 90 miles, round trip, too much certainly for daily Mass, and a bit much even for weekly. If and when I am able to attend the EF on a regular basis, I expect I shall use the Campion missal.

  38. kallman says:

    Overseas shipping from the fulfilment center is very expensive. The book is supposed to become available from Amazon in the future but when exactly is unclear. The shipping is currently more than the purchase price.

  39. MouseTemplar says:

    Just in time for my end-of-the-month book splurge. I just ordered one, but am going to have to watch the How To video. A new adventure awaits!

  40. jasoncpetty says:

    Ribbons: here’s a little DIY ribbon card you can make in five minutes if you’re a ribbons-person.

    (Link is to someone putting ribbons in their Parish Book of Chant, which is about to go into its second edition, for those of you who can’t buy an EF-only pewback book, but are stuck with both Forms–the PBC is a jack of both “trades,” but of necessity master of neither–the St. Edmund Campion Missal is master of the EF–as CC Watershed’s Vatican II Hymnal is to the OF.)

  41. gambletrainman says:

    I don’t know if anyone has picked up on this, or not, but, in the preface, it states that the St Edmund Campion Missal is based on the Father Lasance Missal of 1945. Not to be nitpicking, but, how can that be, as there are quite a few changes. In the 1945 missal, today is the feast of St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. The mass is of the feria (Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent) with a commemoration of the feast. Otherwise (such as tomorrow) it’s the mass of the feria, with two commemorative prayers (A Cunctis Nos and the Commemoration of the Living and the Dead). Also, the Holy Week services are completely different, there is no mention of St Joseph in the Canon, and a lot of the feast days have different dates. So, how can this be based on a 1945 missal. It should be based on the 1962 Missal.

  42. future_sister says:

    They just ordered a bunch of these for the TLM I go to. About 2 in every pew it looked like to me. My ride to the Mass is the priest’s niece and she like had this delighted giggle when she saw them and we knew there was a reason we happened to get to Mass 30 mins early which has almost never happened because of traffic. She had no clue that her uncle was getting them. It was so beautiful and helpful and easier to follow than the little missalettes that had been in the pews and pointed out little nuances of the Mass that we had missed. There were a couple bookmarks in the pages already marking what pages we needed, hopefully they don’t go missing. I think I’ll offer to the priest at my church that I’ll make some ribbon markers for them. I was considering getting one of my own, but perhaps someone on here may have a better suggestion? I’ll probably still get this one to put on my shelf at some point though, I am a book person, actually if I order it now I can show my Carmelite friend when he comes to visit me….

  43. John Nolan says:

    Wonderful to see the words of the familiar Roman Canon written circa 750 in the Stowe missal. This was the prayer the liturgists of the 1960s didn’t want, preferring their own fabricated versions.

  44. acardnal says:

    For those readers who have never attended a TLM/EF Mass or perhaps only a handful, get this inexpensive missal and read the prayers used in the Ordinary of the Mass. They are beautiful, reverent, transcendent, ineffable. They give great glory to God Almighty.

    Or go here to this website and read the words. Especially beginning at the Offertory. They are so much more glorious than those used in the OF in my opinion. And when sung at a High Mass even more so! They can transport you to the heavens.

  45. Mitchell NY says:

    I just ordered 2 of them..I am curious as well how the Holy Week Masses appear and how far off this is from the 1962 Missal. Do they mean they are just using a translation that was found in the 1945 Missal? Either way it is a fine Missal and well worth the price. The illustrations, typeset, and color are just too impressive to not have.

  46. Charles E Flynn says:

    How wonderful that this missal will be the childhood memory of some children who have seen no other.

  47. Suburbanbanshee says:

    gambletrainman — It just means that the bits which haven’t changed since 1945 are the same as Fr. Lasance’s translation. (He was a Cincinnati priest who did a lot of books for Benziger back in the day.) Everything else had to be adapted. (Which probably wasn’t hard, as there have been plenty of later missals printed which have adapted Fr. Lasance’s translation.)

  48. gambletrainman says:


    Oh.Okay. Sounds logical. Thanks.

  49. Agellius says:

    Is it just me? I couldn’t find the price anywhere, nor any way to add it to my “cart” or anything.

  50. PRICE: If you go to the Campion web site that Father Z links and select link #2 you get a price list–it depends on how many copies you order–from $23 (plus shipping) for a single copy, down to $15 each if you order 500 copies.

    ORGAN and SATB: If you select link #3 there, you learn about the organ supplements that are available now. The SATB version for choirs is said to come soon.

    RIBBONS: If you select link #5 there, you get a 4-minute video alleging that ribbons are not needed at Mass, that the missal is designed so the single provided book mark suffices. However, if (like me) you want ribbons instead, handy 5-ribbon inserts are available at most Catholic bookstores, or you can order them on line at sites like

    PRAYERS: I routinely pore over and compare the translations in my Baronius and Angelus missals with those in older missals like the venerable St. Andrew Missal. I generally find the translations in the Lasance (and now Campion) to be the most “slavishly literal” and–though this no doubt is a matter of personal taste–to at the same time to read the most smoothly and eloquently.

  51. GregH says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I agree that the Father Lasance translations are the best.

  52. Jerry says:

    re: Henry Edwards – “handy 5-ribbon inserts are available at most Catholic bookstores, or you can order them on line at sites like”

    If you plan to order from Aquinas and More, you’d better do so soon — they are in the midst of a going out of business sale. Today is the last day of a special sale of the Knox Bible for 15% off.

  53. MouseTemplar says:

    Agellius–There is no “Cart” on the site like you normally see on a site such as Amazon. You have to call or fax or order via the regular mail. I called last evening around 6pm and placed my order by phone.

  54. Greg Smisek says:

    Could someone who has seen it comment about how useable the “Solemn Mass” section is for a Missa cantata with incense? Does it point out any of the differences between a high Mass and a Missa cantata?

    The use of color and illuminated initials and other page decoration is intriguing, and I look forward to perusing it in person.

    However, I’m leery of the glossy photos of Mass contained on most every page of the Order of Mass. Sure the newbie might find the photos helpful, but after you’ve been to the Mass a few times, why would you want to be looking at photos? Back in the 1960s they started using photos like this in hand missals, such as those in the Cathedral Missal, published by E.M. Lohmann (which previously published the St. Andrew Missal). In my opinion, this paralleled the experiment of “commentators” at Mass — lay folks interjecting explanations ad nauseum throughout Mass. That tedious experiment failed miserably. And as far as having pictures to see things which the person in the pew normally can’t, Msgr. Richard Schuler of happy memory recounts how he celebrated some of the very first Masses “facing the people” in the diocese. He said the people came for the novelty, but that quickly wore off, and he went back to the high altar. I think glossy photos of the Mass are more appropriate for a primer than for a missal (Angelus Press has an excellent example of such a thin glossy primer, For the Visitor at Mass).

  55. Kathleen10 says:

    The price is kind of astounding. I saw the price, then rejected it as a price as it was too low, then did some more research and found out it is, indeed, the price.
    I watched the video containing the ribbon explanation. My self-esteem plunged as I realized I was not smart enough to keep up with “the switching of the bookmark”. Back to ribbons, but even that is sure to be a debacle, as I admit, I have no idea what I will be doing.
    The closest Latin Mass to our house is a 45 minute drive each way. I look forward to attending one.

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