Friday, June 20, 2014

Saint Isaac Jogues Illuminated Missal, Lectionary, and Gradual [UPDATED]

Those who have visited the Jogues website will have read about the companion volumes, namely, the hymnal and the weekday book.

Today, I received the introductory pages for the forthcoming Saint Isaac Jogues Daily Mass Companion, with permission to post here at NLM.
THIS DAILY MASS COMPANION provides every possible Entrance, Responsorial, and Communion antiphon that could occur during any liturgical year—more than 2,400 possibilities in all—printed in a large typeface with a clear numbering system. Parishes can now stop spending money on disposable Missalettes. We recommend purchasing the Jogues Illuminated Missal for Sundays (as it contains the Vatican II “Sung” Propers and Lectionary readings) and this Daily Companion for weekdays. Because daily Mass crowds are usually much smaller than Sundays, an excessive amount need not be purchased. Indeed, 30-40 copies may suffice.

Below is the review of the Jogues Missal itself, which is already in print and available for purchase.
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Saint Isaac Jogues Illuminated Missal, Lectionary, and Gradual. 818 pages, hardcover, with full color section. Owasso, OK: Pope John Paul II Institute for Liturgical Renewal, 2014. $22.99 (single copy); bulk discounts from $21.99 to $13.99.

We are living in the midst of a veritable renaissance of beautiful new resources for celebrating the liturgy of the Roman Rite in both forms. It is as if, at last, the best of our tradition and the best prescriptions of Sacrosanctum Concilium are coming together for the benefit of the faithful. There is a kind of momentum building for the hermeneutic of continuity. Where just a few years ago it was hard to find the Propers of the Mass in vernacular plainchant, today there is a plethora of options, along with many fine articles explaining the whys and wherefores; where publications for the old rite were out of print and/or outrageously expensive, today there are reprints and new editions pouring forth from the presses.

The new liturgical movement is finding its singing voice and its material means for long-term growth and expansion. In this sense, although the Reform of the Reform faces enormous difficulties and the resurgence of the traditional Latin Mass has an uphill climb, there is also the hope of real progress after 40 years of the People of God wandering in the desert. Pastors and chaplains, musicians and music directors, DREs, everyone involved with the liturgical life of the Church, finally have fantastic products to choose from that can guide and sustain their pastoral programs for years to come. An example for the Ordinary Form would be the Lumen Christi Simple Gradualreviewed here by NLM's David Clayton; an example for the Extraordinary Form would be the Saint Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal, which I reviewed here.

It is to another project associated with Corpus Christi Watershed that I now turn my attention: the recently released Saint Isaac Jogues Illuminated Missal, Lectionary, and Gradual. (I should note that while Jeffrey Ostrowski was chief editor of this book and promotes it via the CCW website, it is the fruit of a group called the Pope John Paul II Institute for Liturgical Renewal.) There is a lot to say about this multi-layered book, a true labor of love and a work of beauty from start to finish. I could sum up my reaction by saying that the Jogues Missal does for the Ordinary Form what the Campion Missal does for the Extraordinary Form.

As its full title indicates, the Jogues Missal brings together the rich texts of the Roman Gradual (i.e., the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia or Tract, Offertory, and Communion antiphons) and the readings of the Lectionary (including responsorial psalms and Gospel acclamations) and places in their midst a magnificent full-color Order of Mass (pp. 251-314). Like the Campion Missal, the Jogues Missal is for Sundays and Solemnities of the Church year. Unlike the Campion, which includes a substantial hymn section, the Jogues is simply for following along with the texts and ceremonies of the liturgy; a planned companion volume, the Saint Isaac Jogues Hymnal, will be a dedicated music resource with hundreds of hymns, but there is no particular reason that the Jogues Missal could not be paired with other musical resources such as the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual. (The Jogues Missal does include a modest amount of music: the Chabanel Psalm setting for each Mass; Sequences in metrical English versions with simple tunes, with the original Latin texts and literal translations in an appendix; a couple of hymns for Benediction; and the Mass in Honor of St. Isaac Jogues, a plainchant setting that includes the Creed.)

When I first opened the package, I was blown away by the aesthetic qualities of the Jogues Missal. The elegance of the page layout is what first strikes the eye: graceful drop caps of hierarchically gradated size and design are used for various propers and readings, drawing the eye gently to their place in the liturgy; decorative borders set apart the different days; exquisite full-page black and white etchings for major feastdays, surrounded by Scripture verses, plunge us into the mysteries of God and the saints. These qualities render the book a truly worthy instrument for deeper interior participation in the sacred liturgy.

The Order of Mass section is the most striking feature of the Jogues Missal. I have access to a very large collection of liturgical books, and I regret to say that practically none of them manages to convey any conscious or subconscious impression that the Ordinary Form can be a beautiful thing. We have been plagued by utilitarianism and pragmatism for decades, and it often seems as if the traditional Latin Mass is the only surviving refuge for a heightened sensitivity to beauty in every last detail. What the Jogues Missal accomplishes in this regard is nothing short of astonishing. The photos call to mind the historic heritage of the Roman Rite: the glory of its musical heritage; the pregnant symbolism of the different parts and actions of the Mass, with a loving attention to details of ritual; the fittingness of suitable architecture and vesture; even the sacredness of particular words. There is a kind of programmatic “re-enchantment” of the missal that takes place in these pages, simply by the force of loving what the Church herself offers and not filtering it through a reductionistic Bauhaus lens.

This brings me to an interesting angle: the Jogues Missal as an instrument of liturgical renewal and reform. It is no secret that the way the OF Mass is celebrated in most communities bears little likeness to the images provided in this missal's pages. The celebrating priest is wearing a maniple (e.g., p. 263 and p. 277) which matches his ornate red and white chasuble; the altar server is in cassock and surplice, and even the men’s schola is similarly attired (p. 273). One lady is wearing a mantilla (p. 265). Mass is being celebrating ad orientem towards a Gothic high altar with six lit candles and a statue of Our Lady (e.g., p. 266, p. 300); naturally, incense is featured (p. 276). The chalice is gloriously ornate gold and silver (e.g., p. 292). The priest holds his thumb and forefinger together after consecration (p. 300). Holy communion is distributed on the tongue to those who are kneeling (p. 310). And throughout, the assumption is that the Propers are being chanted, whether in the vernacular or in Latin (the second color image, on p. 252, is of a Gregorian chant manuscript with an Introit). Indeed, the very first color image (p. 251; see below) is a Crucifixion-Trinity scene surrounded by the nine orders of angels, with a priest at the bottom raising the chalice ad orientem—a paradigm of the entire approach here, which could be described as “ROTR to the Max.”

All this makes the Jogues Missal an ideal tool for pastors who are seeking to move their community towards a more elevated, solemn, beautiful, and traditional celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite or who, already blessed to be at that point, wish to consolidate the good they have. The book itself seems to anticipate such a purpose: along with the Order of Mass, printed in large readable type, one finds small blocks of commentary in fine print explaining aspects of the Mass and its ceremonial. To some this might appear overly didactic, but my impression is that it is tastefully done and appropriate, especially in an age when liturgical formation is desperately needed. It could certainly be a marvelous tool for liturgical catechesis, whether in preaching or during RCIA and other religious education programs.

Best of all, the Jogues Missal carries on the copyright page the following notice: “Published with the approval of the Committee on Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 20 March 2014,” followed by the Imprimatur of Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa. No one can point to these features—the ad orientem worship, the use of the maniple, the wearing of the mantilla, kneeling for communion, etc.—and say: “This is not to be done in the Ordinary Form.” Those of us who have studied the relevant documents know that they are permissible, but does the average Catholic? And should one have to be a scholar in order to defend traditional practices or common sense views? The Jogues Missal provides a key piece that was missing in the English-speaking world until now: a “This, folks, is really how it’s done” pew resource that unashamedly embraces the ROTR model of Benedict XVI.

The Ordinary Form of the Mass is going to be around for a very long time, regardless of what we may think about its strengths and weaknesses, and it would be hard to dispute that it should be offered as beautifully and solemnly as can be done, ad majorem Dei gloriam. As a matter of fact, proponents of the traditional Latin Mass (like myself) would do well to remember that a plentiful source of future interest in and support of the TLM will come from those fortunate Catholics who are brought up in (or who seek out) communities that embody the hermeneutic of continuity. For these Catholics, the step to the TLM is much more natural; it is like meeting a long-lost relative of the same family, rather than a stranger from a foreign country. Between the current situation of a minority presence of the EF and the future situation of a predominance of it, there will need to be a middle period characterized by parishes across the country that, to put it in a nutshell, have both the Campion Missal and the Jogues Missal in their pews.

The patron of this new book, Saint Isaac Jogues, S.J., knew long before the Second Vatican Council that the Mass is the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church—which is why, even after his thumb and forefinger had been cut off during his enslavement and torture by the Iroquois, he was willing to return to the Indian missions and to continue offering this great Sacrifice, for the salvation of the world. Our attitude should not be any less radical than his when it comes to giving God the greatest and the best we can.

For more information, videos, and reviews, see the Jogues Missal site.

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