Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An NLM exclusive: Interview about Campion Missal, 2nd Edition

Many of you may remember my review of the St. Edmund Campion Missal, from Corpus Christi Watershed, when it first was released. The missal was received very well, and the stock has sold out. Jeff Ostrowski, the publisher of this fantastic Missal, took advantage of the situation, and revised it. I can assure you that I (or another contributor) will post here as soon as the new edition is available to order. Here is an interview about the second edition:

Ben Yanke (NLM): I've seen on your website that very few copies of the Campion Missal & Hymnal (First Edition) remain in stock. What is the situation with the second edition?

Jeff Ostrowski (CCW): It's totally done. We approved and sent off the entire thing about a month ago. The books will start shipping in approximately fifteen business days.

B. Yanke: Why the changes? Why not just reprint the first edition as-is?

J. Ostrowski: I suppose the best way to find out would be to purchase the Second Edition and see for yourself, but let me attempt to briefly summarize:
  • Several typos were corrected
  • The Solemn Mass section was completely redone and now has a clearer, more "classic" layout
  • A ribbon has been added
  • Minor improvements were made throughout the book to things like headers
  • The cover has been changed to a more subtle, elegant design. The original cover was lovely, but some priests felt it clashed with the colors/architecture in their churches (ours is a book for the congregation).

B. Yanke: You're sounding a bit like a vacuum salesman who came to my door the other day . . .

J. Ostrowski: Ha! Well, let me be honest: I did not believe the First Edition could be improved upon, but I was wrong. Perhaps I could be permitted to share a comment by one of the proofreaders of the Second Edition?
Contrary to my initial reaction, after looking closely at this Second Edition, I feel the simplification of the layout and the loss of some artwork may have been a blessing in disguise. I think a majority of folks will find the new more clean-cut format more readable. The subdivision and open 2-column formatting of things like the Lavabo is a big improvement, as is the new Crucifixion and more visible display of the Te igitur, making them easier for neophytes to follow. Also, I think the new page footers may be helpful for newcomers to the TLM. In short, as a major devotee and promoter of your Campion missal in its First Edition, I wind up my review of this Second Edition simply liking it better!
B. Yanke: As we computer geeks say, is the new edition backwards compatible? In other words, can the first and second editions be used side-by-side?

J. Ostrowski: Oh, absolutely. None of the page numbers have changed, nor any of the music.

B. Yanke: Can we take a look at the inside?

J. Ostrowski: I'd be honored, but please understand how difficult it is for an editor to choose examples. You've heard the phrase: "It's like choosing between children."

As you probably know, many actions for Solemn Mass do not occur at Low Mass. The Campion Missal was the first in history to print both Solemn and Low in their entirety to make sure the faithful can easily follow Mass. We tried not to repeat pictures: for example, the Low Mass images focus much more on the priest's gestures, the position of his hands, and so forth. Deciding upon the desired angles took months of preparation. Perhaps your viewers would appreciate seeing a very early draft:

B. Yanke: You also talk about the little editorial decisions you made throughout the book to make the second edition better. Can you fill us in on some of those decisions and your thoughts behind them?

J. Ostrowski: Editing a missal or hymnal is all about choices. For instance, all of us would agree that large, legible type is a good thing. On the other hand, extremely heavy books with numerous page turns are bad things. How does one strike a balance? Choices like these keep editors awake at night. In the end, the Campion Missal ended up being a book of moderate size and weight, approximately half the width of the blue CTS missal:

Remember how the fictitious detective Sherlock Holmes could look at someone's wristwatch and deduce the moral character of its owner? Having looked at so many historical Catholic missals (going back centuries), I often feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes. For instance, when I see a sample page from the Burns Oates 1952 Missal:

 I cannot help but notice their editorial choices: the way they abbreviate the Scriptures, the peculiar text wrap around the initial capital "A," the non-capitalized pronouns for God, the lowercase letters used after drop caps, the thin "see-through" pages, and so forth. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages. The most interesting choice for me is usually how the Latin is "lined up" to the English. In the Burns Oates Missal above, we see they used a larger font for the Latin. Another solution is to place the Latin in a smaller column than the vernacular, as they do in this 1764 Missal printed in Paris:

However, I have a problem with both of these approaches: they look uneven. My eye simply cannot get used to the lack of symmetry. The Roman liturgy is very balanced, so it seemed logical to me that missals should be balanced. Several of the FSSP priests agreed that printing the Latin in a smaller column implied a type of "discrimination." Therefore, we ended up chosing the approach of this 1806 Missal, where the font size and columns are uniform:

One disagreement throughout the creation process had to do with rubrics. Many of the traditional priests who assisted with proofreading are accustomed to liturgical books which describe every rubric in detail. I had decided early on to include only those rubrics which would edify the faithful or help them follow Mass. On this issue, I "stuck to my guns," in spite of pressure. One consulter even wanted me to include all the rubrics in Latin. I was happy to discover the following sentence in the Preface to the Burns Oates 1952 Missal, because it confirmed my decision:
The rubrics are in English throughout, and have been specially prepared to give the reader all necessary information, without entering into minute directions which concern the celebrant alone.
Let me emphasize once more that every choice has advantages and disadvantages. Our hope is that the Campion Missal, in spite of its flaws, will allow Catholics to assist at Mass with greater devotion.

B. Yanke: If people could take away just one thing from this interview, what would it be?

J. Ostrowski: I want them to understand our book is designed for the congregation. Ordinary Form priests are accustomed to purchasing hymnals and missalettes for their entire congregation, but this doesn't occur to many Extraordinary Form priests. As a result, members of the congregation who (for whatever reason) don't have a missal with them end up staring into space the whole Mass. How can your congregation sing a hymn together at the end of Mass if everybody has a different book? Perhaps this situation arose because until recently it was almost impossible to purchase a Catholic hymnal that wasn't chock-full of embarrassing texts and goofy tunes.

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