Thursday, February 9, 2012

Loving The Old Mass (Missals)

Click Here for the beginning of this series on the 'Loving Old Mass'

There are many inexpensive options for Missals in order to follow the Tridentine Mass.

The faithful are not to be mute spectators...

Before selecting one we should ask 'what is our goal in having one?' First and foremost, the Church herself has a goal for us. Both pre Vatican II and post Vatican II documents prescribe full, conscious and active participation in the Mass. In BOTH forms we are encouraged to integrate the chants and responses of the propers & ordinary in Latin or English into our prayer. Each individual will do this in their own unique way and that is as it should be. But we are to strive to be united to Christ in the holy sacrifice with as much joy and fervor as we can muster. This requires a little work!

My experience is that the personal missal greatly enhances that injunction. Everyone has their own speed. But the effort you put into following the Mass will be rewarded both temporally and in the efficacy of Grace received. You will find yourself recharged by following your Missal.

Which Missal
I will mention the various purchase options here and try and enclose images so that you can easily recognize them. Next to each option, I will make a short observation about my own experience using each option.

Keep in mind that Missals are like people... in that they are different... they generally express our likes and dislikes (more detail, less detail, more imagery, less imagery, old looking, new looking)... but that they all have one thing in common... the rock solid order and calendar of the old Mass which makes for, in the prayers of the Church, an unchanging bulwark against whim, fashion, fancy, banality or sappiness. There is very little room for priest or layman inserting their own 'novelty' or 'creativity' into the oder of the usus antiquoir.

Try to slowly purchase a used or new Missal for each reading member of your household. There are also children's missals for the very young which are inexpensive and beautiful. This is not such an expense when done one at a time. Also, do not be afraid to WRITE YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS in the Missal. Should you leave it in the pew accidentally... some good soul will often find a way for you to get your missal back.

Types of Missals for the Tridentine Mass
-----Name--------- Picture Comments
Simple Red Hand Out Booklet
This missal only contains the ordinaries of the Mass... so there is NO Epistles, Gospels or any of the appropriate prayers (called PROPERS) which change each Sunday. You will barely be able to follow the Mass unless some nice person hands out a supplemental containing the Propers for the day along with this booklet... and in any case you will have to JUGGLE the two. Not an easy prospect... though this is nice if you are already an experienced attendee at a TLM and happen to have forgotten your personal Missal. I'll say this: It's better than nothing. Many congregations ake these available near the entrance inside a church before a TLM begins
Saint Joseph DAILY MISSAL This has become my favorite because of it's simplicity. I sing in a schola and so I can juggle this one, plus all my music and thereby not loose focus as to why I'm there in the first place. I just picked one up on eBay for a mere $20. It's simpler then the Baronius Press Missal and does not have all the Prefaces. But if you sing in a schola or have a wiggly baby... this is a good choice.
The Roman Missal (1962) by Baronius Press In my family, this is considered the 'Cadillac' of Missals. Last time I checked this was $59.95. It's worth every penny. As for understanding the old Mass it goes way beyond the essentials. It even has a Kyrialis (notes for some of the sung parts of the Mass) in the very back.

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