Living right on the left coast of North America!

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ignatius Pew Missal

The book looks to be a soft cover publication. A hard cover edition would be preferable in terms of durability and, more importantly, in terms of honouring the content.

Here are some very positive aspects:
  • Sunday propers (Introit & Communion) set to simple formulaic chant that is readily singable and preserves the focus on the text.
  • Missing Offertory chants
  • Weekday propers
  • complete Mass settings in Latin (e.g., De Angelis) and English
Definitely a big step in the right direction.

C'mon Canada, let's get going on our own pew missal! Currently, we are commonly stuck with two missalettes (pew books) that are both woefully drab, and the psalters are comprised of melodies that are poorly composed: the rhythm of the text is routinely destroyed; the implied harmony is confused and the range is frequently awkward, thus attention is drawn to the "melody" rather than the text.

We desperately need a new national missal/hymnal. Now that the Missale Romanum has be properly translated and the translation has been with us for a few years, perhaps we're a little overdue for a new book (without heterodox hymn texts!). We need and deserve a hymnal/missal that actually presents all the Sunday propers, Latin and English side-by-side and free of syrupy devotions. We need a book that helps us recover what was lost, i.e., what the Council actually taught—renewal in continuity with Tradition. We need a book that actually allows believers the opportunity to worship as Catholics, not Spirit-of-Vatican-II liberal religionists. Catholic Canadians need a book that will last and help parishes stop wasting thousands and thousands of dollars on disposable (recyclable) missalettes that are nothing short of a scandalous waste of resources that should be more justly directed toward parish upkeep, charity and evangelization.

If there is a trend to be found, the path set by our American cousins is one with great promise. The Simple English Propers and the Lalemont Propers both provide ample orthodox and singable content. Both are excellent resources for English speaking bishops conferences to use to create a complete pew missal. The conferences simply need the will to produce the book. The tired, sugary and mockable tunes which have distracted a generation of Catholics from their vast artistic heritage should have been consigned to the bonfire decades ago. A return to chanting the propers (the actual text of the Mass!) and the presentation of sacred polyphony is long overdue.

We Canadians are far behind our UK and American cousins. The Americans have the Lumen Christi Missal, not to mention the superb St. Edward Campion Latin Missal and Hymnal for the Extraordinary Form Liturgy. In the works by Corpus Christi Watershed is what is promising to be an amazing publication that goes by the title of The Saint Isaac Jogues Missal & Hymnal.

Perhaps the gold standard thus far, especially in terms of sound construction and aesthetic appeal, is the pew missal published by CTS in the United Kingdom.


  1. Hello Wendell,

    You're right about that. One of the most aggravating things is that we have the additional problem here in Canada because we are one of the few countries to use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translations for our readings at Mass. So all the nice one's out today are NAB-RE, EVEN CCW! UGH!!!!! Not Fair! We're important too liturgically!

    May I add a small oversight? There actually is a 3-year Sundays and Holy days hand missal available to the Laity with Readings, the Order of the Mass, and the antiphons, collects, post-communion prayers, etc. It's Catholic Publishing Company's newest addition, just for Canada. I reviewed the Missal in two parts on my blog, Servimus Unum Deum:

    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    In the end I gave it a (subjective) 7.3 out of 10. It is not like the gold standard CTS Missal, and is weak at parts and succumbs to social justice overemphasis at times, but I do use it for Novus Ordo Masses for the many reasons you want a permanent Missal. Until someone makes a "CTS standard" Hand Missal, the Catholic Publishing Company one will have to do in Canada.

    1. Hi Julian. Thank you for the CPC clarification! Your reviews are excellent: thorough, balanced. Adding your site to my links section post-haste.

      The NRSV—I sideswiped the issue in a recent post:



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