Missalia Omnia: New Missals and New Translations from Liturgical Press

Editor’s note: Pray Tell is publishing several posts on translation and the new missal in coming days, including the eventual release of the final results of a national study of the attitudes of clergy and lay leaders on the new missal commissioned from the CARA research center.

M-O (2)Liturgical Press in Collegeville is announcing several innovative and surprising new missal products today. This is at a time when discussion of the translation of the new Roman Missal continues to be heated, and when all book publishers, but especially liturgical publishers, are facing stiff market challenges.

Called “Missalia Omnia,” the new series will open with several interesting products:  a people’s missal for the Extraordinary Form; a re-issue of the 1974 U.S. Sacramentary; a dual-language people’s missal for celebrations of the Novus Ordo (1969 Missal of Paul VI) in Latin; and a pronunciation guide for the Anglican-rite Ordinariate.

1962* The Collegeville Extraordinary People’s Missal ($19.62): This product is for the so-called “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite with the preconciliar missal, which enjoys universal permission for usage since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This people’s missal is intended for people in the pews in the style of pre-Vatican II pocket missals, with a side-by-side English translation allowing the faithful to follow the Latin liturgy.

Since vernacular translations in such pocket missals were never intended for liturgical use but only for reference, there is no requirement for official approval of them. This made it possible for Liturgical Press to develop English translations in the free-but-faithful style known as “dynamic equivalence” made famous in the 1998 ICEL sacramentary.

Pre-release focus groups surfaced substantial interest in a product such as this.  “We think this product will be a bridge-builder in surprising ways,” said executive director Peter Dwyer. “Progressive liturgical scholars will like the underlying translation theory, but traditionalist Catholics will be challenged to incorporate fresh and contemporary language into their piety.” Barry Hudock, parish market publisher, said that young Catholics are drawn to the old Latin Mass, “even the progressive ones who are strong on women’s issues and supportive of gay rights.” He added, “The old boundaries are getting blurred. Where but in Collegeville could this emerging niche’s needs be met?”

1974*A re-release of the 1974 Sacramentary for study purposes ($19.69). “This one is a fluke,” laughed academic publisher Hans Christofferson. “We were doing warehouse inventory and discovered a couple hundred of these in the small chapel edition size that we didn’t realize we still had on hand. So we asked ourselves whether someone wouldn’t have a use for them.” With the 2011 release of the new English missal, the 1974 Sacramentary is no longer permitted for liturgical use. For this reason, Liturgical Press is stamping each cover page with “For study purposes: not for liturgical use.” This notice is intended to prevent the illicit use of the 1974 book as, for example, a “Book at the Chair” for the Opening Prayer and Prayer after Communion alongside the approved 2011 missal on the altar.

people's* Missale Populi Dei ($15.70), a Latin-English missal in the “Ordinary Form” of the missal of Paul VI. This “Missal of the People of God” is intended for the growing number of Latin-language Novus Ordo liturgies. Facing the Latin text will be the 1998 English translation of the proposed ICEL Sacramentary, which is intended for reference rather than liturgical use.

The 1998 translation was approved by all the English-speaking bishops’ conferences and widely acclaimed by liturgical scholars, but then rejected by the Vatican after the 2001 release of the controversial document Liturgiam authenticam. Parts of the 1998 text were published by Canterbury Press as Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language. Through collaboration with Canterbury Press, Liturgical Press has managed to secure permission to publish the copyrighted 1998 texts, though they are not approved for liturgical use.

It is known that ICEL officials were less than pleased with the Vox Clara final text of the 2011 missal, which introduced over 10,000 “corrections” to the text ICEL provided to bishops’ conferences, and this may have played a role in the decision of ICEL not to contest the publication of the 1998 text by Liturgical Press.

In what can be taken as a sign of the healing of past divisions around liturgical translation, the foreword to Missale Populi Dei is co-authored by Msgr. James Moroney and Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB.

Ordinariate 3


* How to Speak British: A Pronunciation Guide For U.S. Celebrants in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter ($16.62): As the Anglican usage of the Roman Rite gains traction, concern for its authentic celebration is increasing apace. “You want your Holy Mass to sound like good British English,” said Mechtilde Schwinghammer in the LitPress shipping deparment, “not like you’re still in Minnesota or something.” Comes with cassette recording of the entire liturgy recorded by a native British speaker.



*               *               *

Abbot John Klassen, OSB, of Saint John’s Abbey emphasized that these new publications, including two missals for celebration of Mass in Latin, are not a pulling back from Liturgical Press’s historical commitment to liturgical reform. “The vision of Virgil Michel is still there. Is that vision being expanded for changing times? You betcha it is. Now, does every monk support every individual product in this series? I can’t get them to agree on anything having to do with liturgy! But we all understand where LitPress is at, and as a monastic community, we’re coming with.”

Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, known for his past controversial public statements on issues of liturgical translation, simply stated, “I’m in a different place now. Detachment is my middle name.” It is reported that he will be away from St. John’s for the first two days of the Easter Triduum this year as he concludes a retreat at a Buddhist monastery in California.




  1. Good job! 🙂 I figured it out when I realized there would be no sales for the $19.62 people’s missal price point 🙂 a great historical price by the way… I would love a copy of that foreword by you and James Maroney 🙂 Very good all around! 🙂

  2. You had me going there… mostly because of the cool visuals. Nice logo! Maybe there’s an idea in this Missalia Omnia business after all!

  3. The quote from Abbot John is the best, you betcha. I’m coming with too! (I’m not a real Minnesotan – is that grammatical?)

  4. I was kinda exited about the EF Missal until I realized it was an obvious joke (even though an EF Missal from Liturgical Press really would be a sign they are looking forward rather than backwards).


  5. “I’m coming with too” is technically acceptable, but it’s much better stylistically to say “I, too, am coming with.”

  6. ‘Mechtilde Schwinghammer’ still laughing at that. Not that it isn’t a wonderful name – context is everything.
    Great idea re Missale Populi Dei

  7. The 1998 ICEL opening prayers for years A,B,& C are, in fact, in print but “not for official use” of course.

  8. Soooo. . .you use …tsk tsk. .you PRAY the “not for official use” texts, what are the temple police gonna do? Take you out and kick you out of “the Temple”? For praying “unofficial words”? We are too short of presiders now.
    Just don’t talk about it. Just pray. Even the “TP” will like your pray-er.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *