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Baronius Press EF Missal
Over the years, I have attended the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on probably a little under a dozen occasions. I happen to live in an area where there are a number of options each weekday and Sunday for the EF. One of the things I enjoy doing, particularly before Mass, is to see what Missal is the most popular in the congregation. By far, at least in the EF Masses I have attended, the Missal I have seen most often is the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal. And since I know that there are at least a couple people who read this blog and attend the EF, I contacted Angelus Press to see if I could obtain a review copy of their 1962 Missal. They graciously accepted that offer. I am happy to post some of my random thoughts and photos of this Missal after having spent some time with it. All of these observations come from someone who is a bit of an outsider to the Extraordinary Form, one who will likely only attend on occasion. When I do attend the EF, this Missal will certainly accompany me and be an exceptional aid to participating in the Mass.
One of the things I have noticed in many of the pre-Vatican II missals that I have seen is that they are true works of art. They typically have a classic look and feel to them, along with being accompanied with many beautifully rendered images. This missal is no exception. The total page count is 1980 (not counting the endpages) and the size is 6.75 x 4.2. It fits very well in the hand, and in many ways I prefer the size and feel of the Angelus Press missal to the Baronius missal, even though they are very similar.
|Note the extensive introduction|
The volume is smythe sewn, which should be mandatory for not only Missals but every Catholic bible (in leather) that is produced. This will ensure that it will last, which for something as personal as a daily missal, is a necessity. One of the things I treasure most is an Italian language prayer book/missal which was brought to the United States by one of my relatives. It is over 100 years old now but remains in great shape due to it being sewn. I think about it often as I, myself, have young children. What better gift to pass down to a son or daughter than a well-made missal or bible, that has been lovingly used and prayed with by a parent? The smythe sewn binding is very firm and tight. At first, it may seem to be a bit too tight, at least in comparison to, say, the Baronius 1962 Missal. Over the time I have used it, it has loosened up a bit and isn't really an issue. In regards to the cover, it is a leather-like Skivertex polymer gold-embossed flexible cover. Like the binding, it is a bit stiff at first. It will soften a bit over time. There are five liturgically colored ribbons which fit the needs for the occasional flipping that any daily missal (EF or OF) makes necessary. To round out the ascetic quality of this volume, it comes with gilt edges which are also rounded. (For some reason, I particularly like the feel of rounded edges on my higher quality book.)
|Angelus Press edition on top|
When you open the missal, the first thing that will strike you is that the color of the page is a bit yellow-ish. When you compare it to the Baronius Missal, the differences become quite evident. This will be, perhaps, the biggest issue one will have to decide on if they are deciding between the two. Depending on the type of lighting there is at your local EF parish may ultimately be what decides it for you. After using it on a couple of occasions, I have found that I'm quite ok with the Angelus Press (yellow-ish) pages. It was not an issue for me in any way at Mass. The lighting in the church where I attended the EF wasn't particularly great, but I still had no issue reading along with the Mass parts.
This is an new typesetting and not a photographic reproduction, which was often the case before release of Summorum Pontificum. All the liturgical texts are in Latin and English, with the biblical texts coming from the venerable Douay-Rheims (Challoner) translation. The words are in black, with the rubrics being in a the traditional red. The liturgical text is that of the 1962 typical edition of the Missale Romanum. The liturgical calendar is keyed to that edition and it includes the revised Holy Week Liturgy of 1962. The Latin is found on the inside of the page, slightly smaller than the English. This edition contains plenty of commentary and explanations to help the person who is new to EF utilize this Missal.
|Note the commentary on the right side of|
One of the most helpful additions to this Missal, particularly as one who does not attend the EF every week, are the inclusion of the commentaries that are found on the right side of the page in Ordinary of the Mass section. As one who has attended the OF all my life, I learned a number of things which has enlightened my appreciation of both forms of the Mass.
Angelus Press notes that this is the "most complete missal ever." If you to their website, they list the additional features that this missal contains. It is quite extensive. Contained in this missal are plenty of prayers and devotions which one could use outside of Mass throughout the liturgical year. As one who has used the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the past, I was grateful to see that they included Vespers and Compline for Sundays from the traditional office. While I don't mind the repetition of the Little Office, it is certainly nice to be able to change things up a bit once a week on Sundays. (They also included Vespers for parts of the Triduum as well in this edition.) This, of course, reminds me that Angelus Press has a lovely Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in paperback, which includes the Office of the Dead and is very readable. That, with their 1962 Missal, would make a great pair for daily prayer.
Overall, I am very pleased with this Missal by Angelus Press and encourage those who attend the EF to consider it when looking for a Missal. In comparison with any missal that is currently available for the OF, I find that the Midwest Theological Forum Daily Roman Missal comes the closest to it in quality. Yet, I really enjoy the format and feel of the Angelus Press version considerably more, as well as finding it to be more helpful in the additional prayer resources are included in it.
Thank you, again, to Angelus Press for providing this review copy in exchange for an honest review.
N.B. If anyone is interested in obtaining a very good edition of various editions of the 1962 Missal, please email me. I have obtained a few additional copies and would be happy to part with them for a reasonable offer.
|Vespers for Sundays|