Books by Louis J. Tofari

The General Principles of Ceremonies for the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers)
The General Principles of Ceremonies for the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers) by Louis J. Tofari  92 pages

Original year of publication: 2008

Just completed! This 92-page softcover book covers the general principles of the Roman Rite, the foundation of all rubrics. This abridged edition treats specifically of the principles that affect the inferior ministers (altar servers) when fulfilled by laymen. Though the serving of the ceremonies by laymen is done virtually the same as by clerics, there are some minor exceptions (e.g., wearing the biretta or receiving and giving the Pax) which were omitted from this edition.

Don’t let the title of this short, but valuable book confuse you! Though primarily intended for those who are involved with the sacred liturgy, nonetheless The General Principles of Ceremonies of the Roman Rite (For Inferior Ministers) actually has an even broader application.

This book can impart to the average lay person a better appreciation and understanding of the Romanitas of the Roman Rite, a unique characteristic that only the namesake liturgical rite of the Eternal City possesses! Tragically, to many modern-day Catholics, the solemn pageantry of the official worship of God appears as meaningless ritualistic actions. The average Catholic can defeat this liturgical ignorance by reading about the “hows” and “whys” of the Roman Rite, thereby making the formerly inscrutable gestures and reverences suddenly recognizable for their complete devotional worth and purpose! If Catholics desire to draw more from the sacred well of the Roman Liturgy, then the reading of this short book is one way in which to affect this: through education and thereby comprehension.

Of course this book is a boon for the liturgically or rubrically minded, as it solely concentrates on the systematic exposition of the foundation for all rubrics of the Roman Rite, and not any mere particular ceremony. It is in fact the first of its kind to treat of the general principles in this manner, as previously, they were merely expounded (to some degree or another, and usually inadequately) in relation to various ceremonies. Since the principles that this book treats are basic to every ceremony of the Roman Rite, it is of great use to anyone who is involved in ceremonies, be it the laymen who serves (especially as the master of ceremonies), seminarians who are studying the liturgy, and priests who want to more fully understand the demands of the rubrics, and thereby the Roman spirit of the liturgy.

To facilitate the explanations on the general principles, 18 pictures, 2 expository tables and 11 diagrams have been included, while 183 footnotes provide valuable sources of authority, further explanations and various tips. Other features include a table of contents and two glossaries of terms (sanctuary-related and rubrically-related) used within the book.

Printed in easy-to-read text, this 5½" x 8½" booklet is packed with essential knowledge for any Catholic interested in better understanding the ceremonial intricacies of the ancient Roman Rite, but especially for master of ceremonies, adult servers (ages 12 and up) and clerics (even priests).

This booklet is a prelude to an upcoming comprehensive edition that will include even more information regarding incensations, matters that affect clerics who fulfill the various offices of inferior ministers, general principles for sacred ministers and some general items about pontifical ceremonies.

If you desire 10 or more copies, price is $7.00 each. Please contact us at for bulk inquiries.

Out of Stock. Order from

[Update 1/19/09- Read this review on Fr. Z's Blog]

Server's Mass Response Card
Server's Mass Response Card by Louis J. Tofari

Original year of publication: 2008

In a project that spanned nearly four years, this card was the first completed project of ROMANITAS PRESS.

You might perhaps be already familiar with a similar response card that Benziger Brothers produced over fifty years ago and which has been often reproduced. The ROMANITAS PRESS’ version was developed similarly on this former model and includes improvements, corrections and some valuable additions which are outlined below.

The primary intent of this card was for training purposes (i.e., off the altar, as the server is presumed to have his responses memorized), so its size was substantially expanded to accommodate the additional explanatory texts that do not exist on the Benziger edition. Nevertheless, recognizing that often such a card is needed at the altar, the layout was carefully arranged to provide it with a compact size when folded, while a lightweight, but thick paper stock was utilized to keep it stiff when being held.

The card consists of four, double-sided partitions (though the images make it appear that there are only three) which fold down to a single partition.

The front partitions of the card contain the Latin responses with their corresponding English phonetic renderings. An improvement made in this area was in conforming all of these phonetic renderings according to the Roman Church’s method of pronouncing liturgical Latin more romano, thereby correcting various Anglocizations that frequently existed in previous versions of response cards. The phonetic renderings were also aligned under each word, rather than strung out from column end to column end, which helps the reader to better visualize how each syllable is to be pronounced. Also the various rubrical instructions for the liturgical gestures and reverences made in connection with the various responses were expanded and the responses made when serving for a bishop were added. To utilize the front side, simply start at side 1, then flip the card over to side 2, open the card once to read side 3, then side 4.

The back partitions of the card (accessed by opening the card completely) are found some helpful explanations and basic rules on more romano pronunciation and responding, a list of common pronunciation mistakes made by English-speakers, and even footnotes providing pertinent authoritative citations.

Another improvement of this card is the newly-typeset text printed in red and black and in easy-to-read fonts.

Finally, a clear matte varnish was applied after the printing to increase the anti-glare property of the matte paper stock and to protect the card from moisture and frequent use.

This item is out of stock. Visit to order.

[Update 1/19/09- Read this review on Fr. Z's Blog]

Please support Romanitas Press
Please support Romanitas Press by Louis J. Tofari

Listed on my homepage are several reprints and original work by Romanitas Press. I do not stock these items, you will need to go directly to the Romanitas Press website to order them.

You will find many wonderful resorces on Romanitas, so browse around while you are there- and when you place your order, don't forget to mention that the guy sent you!


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