Saturday, January 12, 2013

My New Missal

A friend recently gave me a copy of a Missale Romanum which was published in 1913, after St Pius X's bull Divino Afflatu, reforming the breviary and the calendar for the Mass. Although the bull is published in the front, after Quo Primum and all the usual documents, this missal has none of the mandates changes, as the reformed missal was not published until 1920, according to Rubricarius of the St Lawrence Press blog. So, the feast of St. Thomas Becket had commemorations of four octaves rather than just one! The ancient, unreformed Holy Week is also published herein.

This is clearly an altar missal that would have been used on the more important feasts of the year. The gilding is in excellent condition, as is the paper. One of the locks on the side is in working order, while the other must be replaced.

The Canon of the Mass. The artwork is quite detailed. One can feel the ink-print when touching the images and print.

The opening pages.

The backside of the missal. The leather should be clean and some of the gilding ought to be re-finished, but it is in working condition. This book was built to last for a very long time.

The texts for the first Mass of Christmas day. Note the lovely woodblock-printed images above the more important feasts.

"Resurrexi et adhuc tecum sum," the opening words of the Easter Sunday Mass: "I have risen, and I am still with you." I am 6'2", have very large hands, and can mostly encompass an NFL sized football with my fingers; this should give you an idea as to how large this missal is. Also, the paper quality is outstanding, something missing in today's liturgical books. The pages for the Ordo Missae and Canon Missae are so thick that one can see the weaving pattern.

Happy Feast of the Holy Family—which is not in this book! Perhaps I should wish you a happy octave day of Epiphany!

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