November 30, 2011

New Translation: My Opinions on Editions

It's only been a few days, but I've already had chances to use both standard sizes of the three different editions of the new missal one is most likely to encounter here in the States: those of Magnificat, Liturgy Training Publications, and the Catholic Book Publishing Company.

I have formed some clear and distinct opinions.

The Magnificat edition is my least favorite. The art is magnificent, for sure, but is so eclectic as to make the book seem awfully busy. There are only tabs for the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayers rather than for each page turn therein. Even in the larger missal the print isn't very big. The thing feels like a coffee table book rather than a liturgical tool. All that being said, Magnificat wins for the best ribbons. As anybody who knows me will say, I do love proper ribbons in my liturgical books.

Catholic Book Publishing Co. has a long history of producing liturgical books that are durable and clear, but painfully plain and homely. Your breviary from them won't fall apart. Despite the baptismal water in your infant baptism ritual and the rain water in your funeral ritual, they still serve time after time. That being said, they aren't much to look at. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to see that CBPC's editions of the new missal are quite lovely as well as pretty usable. Not they didn't fall prey to a little bit of creeping elegance as well; the fancy capitals are pointless and not very readable.

My favorite, though, are the new missals from LTP. I've appreciated much of their work for a long time. I think they make the best lectionaries, and their English-Spanish facing-page edition of Pastoral Care of the Sick is one of the most practically useful priestly go-to books out there. Their new missal is boxy and plain, but eminently readable. There are clearly labeled tabs for every page turn in the Eucharistic Prayers and the Communion Rite, and in different colors, which is very helpful. There's not much art, and what is there not everyone will like, but again, this is a missal, not a coffee table book. The only thing that bugs me a little on the topic of art is the blank left-hand page at the beginning of the Roman Canon. Really? There ought to be an image of Christ crucified there, como Dios manda. Maybe I'll have someone draw one in.

1 comment:

Michael Francis James Lee said...

You should check out the ones from Scepter Press/Midwest Theological Forum. In my opinion, far better on all counts.