UPDATE: I’m sticking this update up here so you don’t miss it. By all means read what I have written below, but as a pre-text, I have since been reliably informed that there will be three editions of the Sunday (and presumably the Weekday) Missal available in the new year: one from the Catholic Truth Society (the same as have published the Altar Missals), one from St Paul’s (which will be cheaper), and another one – which I hadn’t been aware of – from Collins). Australian shoppers are advised to hold fire on their purchases until these three hit the stores.
I was very excited to receive in the mail yesterday a copy of “Your Sunday Missal” published by the Redemptorists in the UK. This is the first of the new editions of the Sunday Missal to come of the printing presses and into our hot little hands. But: Caveat Emptor!!
What we call “The Sunday Missal” should not be confused with the Roman Missal that sits on the altar of our churches. It is, rather, a book that combines parts of the Roman Missal with parts of the Lectionary, giving a book which the laity can use to follow the mass in all its parts on Sundays. A similar book, called the “Weekday Missal” does the same for the masses during the week. Now here is the complication: at this point in time there is a universal English translation of the Roman Missal. There ISN’T a universal translation of the Lectionary (as users of iPhone missal apps will have noticed).
And that’s the first place where “Your Sunday Missal”, produced by the Redemptorists, comes unstuck for use in Australia. While it uses the same translation we are currently using for the Lectionary Scripture texts – the Jerusalem Bible – Australian users will get really annoyed at the fact that it uses different Psalm and Gospel Acclmation responses. It might seem a little thing, but these are two things that you actually need to have if you are going to participate in the liturgy of the word (the most commonly printed texts on the front of Bulletins each Sunday).
This fact makes me wary of ordering any other UK version of the Sunday Missal, including the CTS version (which, in truth, sounds very good indeed – see here). Of course, the UK Redemptorist edition doesn’t have the Australian feasts of Australia Day, ANZAC Day, and St Mary MacKillop either. The CTS version of the Roman Missal does, so I will be interested to see what their edition of the Sunday Missal does in this regard.
There does seem to be an Australian publication in the pipeline, coming from St Paul’s, due in March. While I think you can be guaranteed that the texts of this edition will match our Australian needs, there are just a couple of other issues I have with the Redemptorist Missal that you might want to check out in the St Paul’s edition.
1) Does it have the Latin of the Ordinary of the Mass? In an appendix at the back of the Redemptorist Missal, there is a section called “Latin Texts for the Mass”, which gives not only the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei, but most of the other responses you would need to have if the Mass was conducted completely in Latin (only the people’s parts). This is rather nice. That’s more than the English CTS edition of the Roman Missal itself gives. However, the CTS version of the Altar Missal actually incorporates the Latin texts of the Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei (those most likely to be used – they could have included the Gloria, but for that matter, the Roman Missal didn’t even normally include the Gloria text at all so…) in the Order of Mass itself, where they are not only easily accessible but rather pointedly suggested as an option.
2) Does it include the Chants included the Missal? The Redemptorist “Your Sunday Missal” fails dismally here. The 2002 Missale Romanum is full of chant for just about every part of the Mass, and the CTS edition of the Roman Missal preserves this completely in the Order of Mass. “Your Sunday Missal” does not. It gives the chant for the responses at the Gospel, and for the Eucharistic Prayer (Opening Dialogue, Sanctus, Acclamation, Doxology), but nothing else. Score a BIG zero. This is one of the best features of the new Roman Missal, and to leave it out is, let us say, a failure in faithful translation.
So I will be returning my copy of “Your Sunday Missal”.* BUT, and this is the real question, WHICH version of the Sunday Missal should we plebs be purchasing? (I know Perry will chime in here and say “none – leave it till the new lectionary translation is done”, but I don’t think that will realistically be any time soon.) What are the Australian Catholic Bishops recommending? Contrary to recent reports, I am not privy to what goes on in the corridors of the ACBC.
What really concerns me is that we pew-sitters have an edition of the Roman Missal as genuine and beautiful and generally useful as the one that the priest has on the altar. It should not leave out anything that is in the Roman Missal itself – it should include Latin texts where the English Roman Missal includes Latin texts. It should include music for the chant where the English Roman Missal includes music for the chant. It should include – and this is absolutely essential – the current Australian variations in the Lectionary and in the Calendar.
So, dear reader, when shopping for your Sunday Missal: Caveat emptor!
*UPDATE: Actually, after talking to various people this morning, I won’t be returning it. I will keep it as a reference to use for an upcoming review of all available “Sunday Missals”. You might like to hold off purchasing until we get more information about the various editions that will be available. In the meantime, my advice is in the title to this post!