Angelus Press: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal


Baronius Press: Roman Catholic Daily Missal (1962)


These are the first two complete Latin-English missals -- for the traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 rubrics currently applicable for indult Masses -- to be published in the 40 years since Vatican II.


They actually are different digitally typeset reprintings -- with slightly different internal arrangements and occasionally inserted commentaries -- of essentially the same missal based on the 1962 Missale Romanum and Breviary, one that dates back in many of its English translations to a venerable pre-Vatican II Marian Missal (by Fr. Sylvester Juergens) which in some of its many editions bore the more fully descriptive title Roman Missal and Liturgical Manual. Thus, in addition to all the proper and ordinary Mass prayers and readings in two-column Latin-English, each includes hundreds of pages of supplementary material (everything in parallel Latin and English) -- all the usual litanies, anthems, and devotions around which the personal piety and practice of traditionally minded Catholics is centered, Sunday vespers and compline, morning and evening prayers, prayers for before and after Holy Communion, summaries of Catholic belief and lore (in case you need a reminder of the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost, for instance). Public devotions such as Forty Hours and First Friday, Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament are included also, along with the traditional Eucharistic hymns and prayers that many Catholics now use especially in the Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass that our Holy Father urges. Each missal ends with a brief Kyriale providing common Gregorian chant settings for the Asperges, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.


The only differences in selection I've spotted are the inclusion of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the luminous mysteries of the Rosary in the Baronius Press (BP) missal, and the inclusion of the Pope Leo XIII's simple rite of exorcism and the longer form of his well-known prayer to St. Michael the Archangel in the Angelus Press (AP) missal. The BP missal does not include the marginal comments on the Canon prayers that I previously quoted from the AP missal, but uses the extra space to print these prayers in wider columns.


Thus the only real differences are in physical format and font selection. The BP missal has 3.7"x6.1" pages somewhat smaller than the 4.2"x6.8" pages of the AP missal. The BP missal has 2216 pages and a thickness of 2", whereas the AP missal has 1980 pages and a thickness of 1.4" (and therefore a slightly more svelte appearance -- its volume is about 40 cubic inches as opposed to 45 cubic inches for the BP missal). The typefaces are different, those in the BP missal appearing a bit smaller (though perhaps a bit more elegant) than those in the AP missal. Some people may find the Latin text more easily read in the AP missal, whereas the BP missal may appear to emphasize the readability of the English text.


Each is a sumptuously bound volume like "they just don't make anymore", Smythe-sewn to last a lifetime, with gold-gilt paper edges and 5 or 6 liturgically colored ribbons. Each has a flexible gold-embossed black cover -- real leather in the case of the BP missal, polymer that looks and feels like genuine leather for the AP missal. The AP paper is a clean white, while the BP paper is more cream-colored.


It seems impossible to choose between these two volumes that both represent the height of the bookman's craft. Side by side, I sometimes think I prefer the feel of the AP missal and the look of the BP missal, then wonder whether I've got it backwards. So I'm fortunate to be a missal junkie who just had to order both. Anyone who buys either will without doubt treasure it as long as he or she lives.


I hope that the presently dawning golden age of traditional Latin-English missals presages a wider and more generous availability of the "Mass of the Ages" to faithful Catholics everywhere -- in the spirit of the following paragraph from Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's foreword to the BP missal:


"It is my hope that this finely produced hand missal will also serve to introduce those unfamiliar with the traditional Roman Rite to its particular beauty. May it likewise contribute to the understanding that the older rites need not be disdained in order to appreciate the new, nor must the new rites be disparaged in order to love the old. In the Diocese of Lincoln, both the traditional and the new Roman rites are available to the faithful, and are celebrated with dignity. Those who participate in one or both of these forms of the Roman rite do so in a spirit of mutual appreciation and peace. It is my humble prayer that this publication will promote the same spirit of mutual respect among Catholics everywhere, regardless of the form of the Roman Rite they use to give honor and glory to God.


This beautiful statement surely describes a wholesome spirit in which the old and new Masses can complement each other and enrich the worship of all faithful Catholics.


Henry Edwards


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