REVIEW: New “Red Book” for use at the Traditional Latin Mass?

In these USA and elsewhere, many people who have frequented the Traditional Latin Mass, for the first time or over years, have far and wide seen the “Red Book”.

The Red Book was put together by the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei. It was first printed in 1990. It was relatively inexpensive, helpful, and – in some ways – flawed. It was constructed, in part, based on some personal memories and not all things were precise. NEVERTHELESS, it was a tremendously useful resource for people coming into church for the TLM.

The Canons of St. John Cantius in Chicago have taken it on themselves to produce a new sort of “Red Book”. Perhaps a “Brick Red Book”.   HERE

The chief difference is the inclusion of the Proper Prayers (those which change according to the day).

Let’s see some photos.

Notice the inclusion of a prayer by the late Msgr. Hellriegel, a priest of St. Louis and, with men like Msgr. Richard Schuler, warriors for sacred worship and especially sacred music, in the horror show of post-Conciliar chaos.  The founder of the Canons of St. John, Fr. Frank Phillips – so unjustly mistreated by the Archdiocese of Chicago – was profoundly influenced by Msgr. Hellriegel.

One thing you will note is the paucity of directions for what the faithful are to do… stand, sit, kneel.  This is a contrast to the older “Red Book”.

The old art work, from old liturgical books, is excellent.

Here are the propers.

And the Prefaces.

And the last page… lovely.

It is a little bigger than the older “Red Book” and bound differently (not stapled).

For scale.

There are a few curious features.  I am not sure why it was thought good to repeat the same texts at the top of both Latin and English sides in some places.

Also, some might find that this booklet isn’t quite as helpful for the standing and kneeling, etc.  HOWEVER… those were and are things much influenced by custom.

I also want to remind you of a stunning resource. Quite simply amazing.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    All I know is that if I were a kid at Holy Mass and I had this book I would be mesmerized by the artwork. That intricated detail is comforting to my brain– somehow. (Shoud’ah gone into graphic arts!)

  2. acardnal says:

    I wonder how durable the cover is?

  3. Kenneth Wolfe says:

    While I understand the Sit, Stand, Kneel debate and sympathize with liturgical libertarians who believe to each his own, we need to be realists on this. The beauty of the red book is it picked a custom and clearly stated when to Sit, Stand and Kneel. I am afraid this book is leaving out perhaps the most important aid for first-timers — when to Sit, Stand and Kneel, even if it is a mere custom for the congregation. From weddings to funerals to witnessing the poor soul who accidentally stumbled into the TLM for the first time ever, the last thing he needs is nearly zero help on when to Sit, Stand and Kneel, which then becomes a major distraction and source of confusion. We need to minimize confusion for guests at the TLM.

  4. Titus says:

    I wonder how durable the cover is?

    It’s a perfect-bound paperback. It isn’t going to last forever. But I don’t think it’s meant to. It fits handily into a niche between the old “Red Book” and a full-blown missal. It’s … a TLM missallete.

  5. Fulco One Eye says:

    I purchased this book as soon as I read about it on this site. It is beautiful and excellent. I prefer its English translations of the Propers to the ones found in many other sources. However, I do wish that the Propers included both the Latin and the English translations, side by side. Lacking that I will continue to use my Kindle version of the Mass with Latin/English Propers published by Patrimonium Press.

  6. jaykay says:

    I do think it’s a very impressive product and, as teomatteo said, the artwork is very fine.

    I think the little illustrations, on the left-hand side beside the Latin, of the various parts of the Mass would be very helpful for a person new to the TLM, in terms of making them familiar with what’s happening at any stage – at least at a Low Mass. I especially like the little bell symbols shown at the right-hand side at the Sanctus and Consecration – I assume there’s one at Communion as well. This is a nice touch I haven’t seen anywhere before.

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