Sunday 15 November 2015

New LMS Mass Booklet

I recently received my latest copy of Mass of Ages, the Latin Mass Society Magazine, and along with it a new Mass Booklet, compiled by Joseph Shaw.

It is excellent. Its cover page accurately sums up the contents: The Ordinary Prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form, or Vetus Ordo), Benediction, Angelus and other prayers and devotions.

The layout is clear, in the traditional manner, with the Latin text on the left hand page, and an English translation (a traditional one, with thee and thou etc) on the opposite page. There are explanatory notes in the margins. I rather like: Commonly used postures for the Faithful: Kneel when the server kneels. For traditionally, the Faithful were not told how they had to pray the Mass: there was licence for many different ways, allowing for the Catholicity of the Church. It is a recent (post-Vatican II) innovation to require us to behave and pray in the way Bugnini and his confrères thought we should. But I digress.

As I was saying, there are explanatory notes in the margins, and also line drawings (by Steffano Mazzeo) showing the posture of priest (and server where appropriate) at different points in the Mass. One of the wonderful things about the traditional rite is that one can follow what is happening with one's eyes, even if one cannot hear (or understand) the Latin. So this is a very practical, useful and educative aid. My children certainly found this helpful in their children's missals as they were learning the Mass, as did I.

This booklet is particularly helpful in a few other ways. One is that it has the local prayers after Mass: the Prayer for the Sovereign (Domine salvam fac) along with the music and accompanying collect. It also has the prayers for England, Scotland and Wales (the latter in Welsh with an English translation) in the appropriate place in Benediction. As well as various other prayers (Prayers after Communion, the Angelus, etc) there is a section on Chants for the Mass. This contains the Asperges, and Vidi Aquam, and then (interestingly) Masses XI (Orbis Factor) and XVII, and Credo I. There are also the four Marian antiphons (simple tones) and the Litany of Loreto.

It is well-produced, on good paper, and runs to 72 pages. It is available from the LMS, for a very reasonable £3.75 (plus postage).

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