Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Liturgical books

Tridentine Community News (September 27, 2009):
We occasionally come across some books that merit mention in this column. They might interest our readers on a liturgical level, as prayer books, or simply because of their uniqueness.


As has previously been announced, Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron will be visiting St. Josaphat Church on November 29 to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation according to the Extraordinary Form. Have you ever considered where the texts of Extraordinary Form Sacraments may be found?

To our knowledge, there is no book currently in print that contains the Sacrament of Confirmation as administered by a bishop. Reprinted ritual books, such as the 1950s Weller edition of the Rituále Románum, only contain Confirmation as administered by a priest in case of necessity (yes, that was permitted pre-Vatican II).

Leave it to Fr. Borkowski to come up with a solution: He unearthed a 1934 edition of the Pontificále Románum. This book contains not only the Sacrament of Confirmation, but a variety of other Episcopal ceremonies.

Cantus Históriæ Passiónis

During Holy Week, the Passion of Our Lord is chanted by three voices in the sanctuary, traditionally a priest, a deacon, and a third voice who can sustain the lengthy Narrator part. The music for the Passions is lilting and memorable. It is not found in the conventional altar missal. The music is rather contained in a three-book set, known as the Cantus Históriæ Passiónis Dómini Nostri Jesu Christi. The three volumes are named for each of the chanters: Christus (Christ), normally sung by the celebrant; Synagóga (Crowds); and Chronísta (Narrator). Each volume contains notes only for the individual concerned.

Finding the correct edition for the Extraordinary Form is a challenge. The Vatican Press currently sells a 1989 Novus Ordo Latin single volume version of this book, Pássio Dómini Nostri Iesu Christi Liber Cantus, too different to be useful. The web site www.musicasacra.com offers a downloadable Tridentine edition, however it suffers from two problems: 1) It is a single volume edition, which can be confusing to the singers, and 2) It is an edition from before 1955, and thus the excerpts of the Gospel terminate in the wrong places. Hand editing must thus be done to end the Passion at the right point to match the 1962 edition of the missal.

After years of asking booksellers to notify us, borrowing others’ books, and searching on-line, we finally located and purchased an actually-in-force edition: a 1956 version of the three-book set. Publishers out there: There is a market, albeit small, for a reprinting of these books.

Blessed Be God

Are you looking for a comprehensive prayer book, with traditionally-phrased prayers? Back in print is Blessed Be God, a 750 page compendium of numerous devotions, novenas, and the Sacraments. The book is available for $30 from www.pcpbooks.com, or (866) 241-2762.

Daily Roman Missal

It is easy to get spoiled by the various Latin/English hand missals for the Extraordinary Form. They are beautiful aids to prayer.

It is worth reminding our readers that at least one reasonably impressive hand missal exists for the Ordinary Form: the Daily Roman Missal, published by Midwest Theological Forum ($49-99 for various editions, from www.theologicalforum.org, (630) 739-9750). MTF also publishes a lovely Novus Ordo Latin Altar Missal we have previously mentioned.

The Daily Roman Missal includes Latin for the Proper Antiphons (Introit, Responsorial Psalm, Alleluia, Communion) and Ordinary of the Mass. Caveat: The Entrance and Communion Antiphons provided are those for spoken (Low) Masses. At sung Masses, different antiphons are used, taken from the 1974 Graduále Románum. This is a peculiar inconsistency for those of us accustomed to be able to trust the antiphons in our 1962 missals.

A collection of devotional prayers are provided at the back of the current edition. Overall, the book generally resembles the Magníficat subscription paperback missal.

While it is not as comprehensive as most Extraordinary Form hand missals, the Daily Roman Missal is the best such product for the Novus Ordo that we have yet seen, and the only one to include Latin. Note that there have been several revisions of this book, with each successive version improving upon the earlier ones.

With the impending changes to the English translations of the Mass, now may not be the best time to invest in an English hand missal. We do expect MTF to issue an updated edition of this missal when the new translations are released, and at that time, this book will likely be worthy of your investigation.
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@stjosaphatchurch.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for September 27, 2009. Hat tip to A.B.]

No comments: