Thursday, January 07, 2021

A New Sacristan’s Guide to the Traditional Roman Rite

We are very glad to share the news of a recently-published resource which I am sure many of our readers will find extremely useful, A Sacristan’s Guide to the Traditional Roman Rite, by Mr Nicholas Morlin. The 90+ page document is free to download at the following link:

Donations can be made to the author at the following link: Inquiries and possible corrections may be sent here: (One of the benefits of having such resources in electronic format, as opposed to print, is that they are so much easier to revise.)

This guide covers all of the major things which a sacristan needs to know to properly prepare for the celebration of the traditional rite: vessels, veils and vestments, and the use of liturgical colors; other ceremonial items; the altar; the furniture in the sanctuary, with notes for particular ceremonies. There is also a section on the specific events of the whole liturgical year, based on the customs of the Roman Rite before the pre-Conciliar changes (folded chasubles, old Holy Week etc.); the celebration of the other Sacraments, the Divine Office and Benediction.

His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider has written about this publication as follows: “The worldwide rediscovery of the riches of the traditional Latin liturgy, especially in its older (pre-1955) form, has brought about the need for adequate handbooks. The present guide is intended specifically for sacristans who play a usually unseen but nevertheless vital role in preparing for the ceremonies and ensuring that all is done in accordance with the best principles, customs, and authorities. I warmly commend this text and hope that it will bring further beauty to the liturgy and greater glory to God.”
Our own Dr Peter Kwasniewski contributed a foreword, in which he writes “With plentiful experience of the classical Roman Rite at his disposal, Nicholas Morlin has done us all a service by creating the present guide as to how these liturgical ceremonies should be prepared. I thank him for his effort and express my hope that this work will come in handy at places where the traditional liturgy is the norm as well as those that are yet to experience the solemn beauty of the classical Roman Rite. ... As we see a younger generation stepping forward to embrace their inheritance as Catholics, we can offer up thanks to Almighty God that He who inspired our great liturgical tradition to begin with will not in the end abandon it, but will keep it alive in the hearts of believers, and in their churches. ”

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