Saint Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Latin Mass
by Jeff Ostrowski, Editor
Original year of publication: 2013
I was quite delighted to run across this wonderful new Missal/Hymnal created for the Traditional Latin Mass. Before I even start this "review", I must stress one point very frankly. I am no authority whatsoever on the subject of sacred music. My knowledge is quite lacking in this area so I will not even pretend to provide a critique of the musical portion of this book. I will focus mainly on it's construction, layout, and form.
A true "Pew" Missal/Hymnal- it seems to be a very well constructed book for the purpose it will fulfill. The covers are hard and matte laminated. The color and artwork is quite beautiful and fitting for such a book. The sewn binding should provide years of reliable service. The quality of print is excellent and the size of the fonts used has been well thought out, you can tell. The layout and typesetting should appeal to a wide range of users.
The introductory pages include a Foreward by Fr. John Berg, FSSP, a preface by the editor, and a nice note that the missal was based on the Fr. Lasance Missal of 1945. What an excellent choice. The good Fr. F.X. Lasance is so well known for his religious books. (See last photo in Image Gallery for a rare look at the good Father.)
The Mass Propers, located in the first section of the book are clean and simple.
The most striking feature of this book by far is the nucleus, where the full color medieval-style illuminated pages are located. The real-life photographs are a bonus as well. Words here cannot describe them. Pictures tell the tale, which I have provided below. Provided first is the Order of High Mass and then an entirely new section for the Order of Low Mass, totally and completely repeated. This is a great feature. Less guessing and very easy to follow.
The last section of the book contains chants and hymns, for use in the Traditional Latin Mass.
The tome is concluded by a comprehensive index.
The book has only two drawbacks or 'cons' as I see it. Number one is the lack of marker ribbons. Even with it's simple layout (designed for less "page flipping") I can't help but think that one will struggle to keep his place during mass. Maybe one could put his finger in the propers or use a bookmark. (funny enough, a free bookmark was included with the book). I can see where the ribbons may have been left out intentionally, since they can be subject to abuse and damage. On know on older missals and other liturgical books the ribbons are the first thing to deteriorate. The second is the sheer bulk of the book. It could be difficult to get this book stuffed into the sometimes slim "pockets" on the backs of the pews. They may have to find a home sitting on the seat portion of the pew, at the ends. Softcovers would have helped a little but would have sacrificed the durability of the book itself. The full color pages are thick and do add bulk to the textblock but as I said above, these pages are what sets this Missal/Hymnal apart from similar books.
My overall assessment is a postive one and this new offering will be a huge improvement to the popular "red books" offered by the Coalition for Ecclesia Dei. I don't mean to knock the "red books". They are very inexpensive and have proved their worth over time. The last comment I will make is the price. It is modest. I paid $22.99 for a single copy and price does down as the bulk goes up. 50 to 99 copies are $18.99 and so on. Definitely an investment for a parish or chapel but they could be a great help for the ability of the laity to assist at Holy Mass.
There is a great website which supports this book. http://www.ccwatershed.org/Campion/
My pictures are posted below.