Monday, December 02, 2019

Four New Reprints from Os Justi Press — Including a Pocket Roman Martyrology

It’s been a long time since I’ve announced any new reprints from Os Justi Press, but now there are four to announce for the holiday season — and one of them is particularly momentous.

The traditional version of the Roman Martyrology was last published in English in 1962 by The Newman Press in Westminster, Maryland. Canon J. B. O’Connell’s translation brought to readers the editio typica of Benedict XV (1922) as augmented through its fourth edition in the pontificate of Pius XII (1956). Until now, this book has been available only in an expensive hardcover volume, sold by Angelus Press for $36.95. It is a handsome edition and the one that I always use at home after Prime in the mornings.

However, I travel a fair amount, and this book was too bulky to travel with me. I tried reading the Martyrology online but found the technology distracting in my prayer time. So I decided to produce a Roman Martyrology Pocket Edition that would consist only of the listings of saints for the days (i.e., not the front matter or the enormous index) and would measure only 4.25" x 6.25" and not quite 3/4ths of an inch thick. I have subsequently traveled with this many times and found it perfect for my needs. It would also serve well as a small reference book for those reading the Martyrology in Latin. Best of all, the price for this 286-page paperback is $12.95 (available from,,, etc.). It may be a good step for those wishing to add the Martyrology to their daily prayer routine, as a source of strength and inspiration.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.Next, there is a helpful resource for learning and teaching chant: Dominic Keller, O.S.B., Fundamentals of Gregorian Chant (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1955); pbk. $9.95. This handy 80-page book, based on the classic Solesmes method, begins with general definitions and proceeds through such topics as notes and their names, the clef and the guide, barlines, intervals, pronunciation, syllabification, accentuation, phrasing, neums, rhythm, the ictus, rules for placing the ictus, chironomy, undulation, psalmody, and modes and their characteristics. For pedagogical purposes it includes a list of 100 terms to be reviewed and 30 questions to be answered. A fine tool for self-study or classroom use.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.A third book: A. M. Crofts, O.P., The Fullness of Sacrifice: Doctrinal and Devotional Synthesis on the Mass — Its Foretelling, Foreshadowing, and Fulfilling (Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1953); pbk. $17.95. [From the book's description:] We are witnesses of a growing desire to participate more devoutly in the traditional Latin Mass. The venerable prayers in the Missal, the dignity of the ceremonies, the concerted movement of priests and worshippers in supplication and love, have stirred the heart of the Catholic world. Many aspects of our act of worship — its setting, foreseen in prophecy and fashioned reverently in the course of time; the heart of it, the Eternal Priest offering Himself as Victim; the memorial in His daily return, as real as when He walked to death; our sharing in that ceaseless Eucharistic action whereby the Church offers herself in Christ to God; the inexhaustible riches of the Redeemer’s presence; the food of the soul on earth, with a pledge of eternal life — these are lucidly explained by Fr. Croft in this commentary, at once scriptural, devotional, and liturgical. [The table of contents:]

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.Lastly, a perfect gem of a book by A.-M. Roguet, O.P., Holy Mass: Approaches to the Mystery (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1953); pbk. $12.95. Fr. Roguet was an important member of the Liturgical Movement and this book long predates his involvement with the destruction of the Roman Rite under Paul VI and Bugnini. Like early Merton, early Roguet has much to commend it. He writes with theological acumen and poetic flair. [From the book's decription:] This fine little book from 1951 studies the Mass, not from its origins or from theories about it, but from its fully-developed ritual acts. The Mass is a simple reality, yet at the same time rich and complex, as are all things that are concrete and alive. In order to understand it we must go around the mystery, see it from different angles, complete and correct one idea that one ceremony, or group of ceremonies suggests, by other ceremonies or by the same ones seen from another point of view. The Mass is an action, a movement, the work of a whole people assembled round the priest and the altar; the Mass is also and always a mystery, that is to say, a reality that is infinitely beyond us and that our intellectual reasoning could never reduce to a convenient schedule. To get a glimpse of the mystery, to present it under various lights, to bring the Christian soul into contact with it, leaving him the possibility of penetrating further by his own efforts, such has been the author’s ambition. [The table of contents:]
The photographs used for the covers of these books are taken from post-Summorum traditional Latin Masses, displaying the very same liturgy on which these older authors are commenting. The combination of preconciliar texts and recent images reminds us of a continuity that has never been lost, which more and more Catholics are finding anew.

Visit for articles, sacred music, and classics reprinted by Os Justi Press (e.g., Newman, Benson, Scheeben, Parsch, Guardini, Chaignon, Leen, Roguet, Croegaert).

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