Liturgical Book Arts: The Latest Edition of the Lectionarium

Photo credit: OC-Travel

For readers who search for and perhaps collect rare liturgical books, you know what a rare find this book is.  Even for online book collectors, is extremely difficult to find a copy of the Lectionarium for Solemn Mass service at the altar.  

In fact, I have said for years that no sacristy is complete without this important volume, which offers large enough print for the Epistle and Gospel to be sung with greater ease.  

It is so rare and so few copies exist partly because many were discarded or destroyed, but also because not many existed in the first place; proof of the diminishing of Solemn Mass even before the liturgical reform.  For this reason, subdeacons often chant the Epistle from a smaller version of the altar missal, also used by the deacon to chant the Gospel.  This practice is difficult, due to the smaller typeset.     

Therefore, for those who perhaps have not yet heard, this treasure was re-published in 2009 in Germany by Nova & Vetera under the title: Epistolae et Evangelia totius anni secundum Missale Romanum ex decreto SS. Concilii Tridentini restitutum Summorum Pontificum restitutum.

This still fresh, new volume, rivaling the best editions of the past, is approved for use according to the Missale Romanum (1962), with a new Imprimatur by his Excellency Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke, O.S.B.  It covers all the readings and gospels of the liturgical year.

Although several editions of the Missale Romanum were published in the early 1960's, an updated edition of the Lectionarium was never published - until now.  Great care and careful thought has gone into the newly cut font and typography, the selection of paper quality, gold-embossed leather binding, ribbons and artwork.  The price is 350 EURO; a mere fraction of the cost to reproduce a book of this quality today.  Needless to say, it is made to last a lifetime and beyond.  I encourage all pastors to obtain a copy for their sacristy for Solemn Masses, or at the very least for reference.

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