Today I was looking online for information about the new editions of the Roman Missal. As I hope everyone knows by now, at the end of November, we'll all begin using the new, improved translation of the Mass in English-speaking countries. Hence new Missals for church and chapel and Mass kits.
Here's what I found, and I welcome input:
Both a "Ritual" and "chapel" edition, the latter being smaller.
At first I was suspicious, because I assumed this would be the same Catholic Book Publishing that currently produces so many ritual books for U.S. Catholic parishes--but it's not (see information on that outfit below).
All we can see so far is the cover (at right) and a few inside pages. My reaction? The cover looks OK, the interior art looks good. What I can see of the layout looks fine, but too little to judge. Price? It's $169, but with a 25% discount if ordered by June 30.
Liturgical Training Publications.
I have a ritual book from LTP, a bilingual ritual for visiting the sick. It's not bad, but could be laid out better. That makes me wonder if I'll have the same experience with a missal from LTP.
The cover is, to my mind, better looking (at left). The inside art? Well, it's by Matthew Alderman, whose stuff I like--but it's executed in black-and-red, while two other publications produced full color art. I am sorry to say I wasn't so keen on this artwork. At $175, the price is slightly higher than that of the bishops, and no discount--but some discounts can be negotiated.
Midwest Theological Forum.
OK, this is the one I really like. It comes in a "regal" edition with real leather and a fancy cover (who needs that?) and a "classic" edition that seems very similar, but faux leather and not as many bells and whistles.
I really like the art in this one, but when I showed it to other folks in the office, one liked the bishops' edition better for that. I also like this cover best, but again, one of my employees here didn't agree (at right).
How about price? Well, this is the highest: "classic" is $350; "regal" is $500.
Catholic Book Publishers.
Here's the company that produces so many of the books we currently use in parishes in the U.S. Sorry to say, I hate their books. The art in them is horrible, there is no imagination or style about them--these books seem to be published by people who have no romance or poetry in their hearts. Some will say, "who cares, they're serviceable"--these are the folks who are content with gruel if it's nutritious; who cares how it tastes or smells?
But, I thought, maybe they will step up their game; when I went to the bishops' site, I thought they had, till I realized it wasn't the same company. So what are they offering? Here's the image of their top-of-the-line edition:
I know, you're thinking, that's not bad--but that's their "regal" edition. Hint: the cover is almost exactly the same as what they're producing now. Upping their game? Not so much.
But wait, you say, let's look inside. I click on the link for inside pages, for typography and artwork--and what appears?
That's right--nothing (if you get it to work on your browser, let me know). I don't know if they have any artwork uploaded, but they haven't posted any details on features so far. Price is $159--but no discount mentioned.
And just to give you a treat, here's the cover of the "chapel" edition:
Impressive, isn't it?