Thursday, October 25, 2007

Missale Romanum 1962 Altar edition reprint and a thought about Reprints

It came to my attention today that Preserving Christian Publications is reprinting the Missale Romanum (1962). Pre-orders are now being taken at $410.00 USD. The Missal is estimated to be ready in early 2008.

Some details of the reprint paraphrased from their website [following after these details are some thoughts I should like to propose about a future printing of the usus antiquior/forma extraordinaria]:

"This is a reprint of the [Benziger] 1962 Missale Romanum... it includes:

1. St. Joseph’s name in the Canon (added in November 1962),

2. The ad libitum prefaces (added in July 1962 and which includes the restored Advent preface!),

3. The pro aliquibus locis section specifically arranged for the USA dioceses per the 1962 liturgical calendar, and the original imprimatur by Cardinal Francis Spellman (Archdiocese of New York).

"Every effort is being made to reproduce this high-quality 8 3/8” x 11 ¼” (approximately 2 ¾” thick) missal exactly as Benziger originally printed it, and will include such features as:

- hard casing in red bonded leather (bonded leather is more durable than regular leather, and requires no special care)

- ornate gold-embossing on the spine (also stiffened and with hubs as shown above in the image of the original) and both cover boards

- flexible bonded leather tabs in red and black

- a full set of durable, poly grosgrain multi-colored ribbons (won't fray like satin ribbons)

- original quality black and red text throughout (all exact scans of the original pages)

- sturdy Smyth-sewn binding and endsheet construction

- non-acid missal-quality paper (nearly the identical specs Benziger used)

- double-gilded page edges

- a slip jacket for proper storage of your investment

It sounds like a wonderful, substantive reprint and we can be grateful for it.

When thinking about the fact that we are seeing such intiatives, one practical thought struck me this morning.

While these reprints are very timely and necessary, what will quickly enough become highly desireable is another new printing in permanent form -- one that comes out after the Ecclesia Dei commission is able to make its official clarifications and study the issue of possible addition of new prefaces. We might consider this a new "Benedictine" edition of the Missale Romanum, usus antiquior which will ideally include within it:

1. The text of Summorum Pontificum and the Explanatory Letter in the front of the Missal

2. The text of the Ecclesia Dei clarifications about the nature of number 1.

3. The updated calendar which includes saints after 1962

4. Whatever is decided about the new prefaces being effected

5. Some sort of response to the new option for either Latin or vernacular Epistle or Gospel. Ideally this would be manifested by the presence of both the Latin and an official vernacular text printed in the very missal itself, whether in parallel or as a supplement. This would have to be practically looked at, as regards how it might be done, to ensure the text was legible and the missal did not grow in size -- still, one thinks of the much smaller altar missals that have been produced; if a similar paper could be used and the larger paper size, the addition of the parallel vernacular Epistle and Gospels may be quite workable.

I think there is a definite need that such be pursued once all those pieces are fit into place -- and they are not yet of course.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: