Magnificat Produces Missal for New Mass Translation

Deputy Publisher Calls Liturgical Book «Work of Art»

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NEW YORK, JUNE 24, 2011 ( As one of the publishers of the new translation of the Roman Missal for the United States, the Catholic publishing house Magnificat has sought to create a work of art, says its deputy publisher.

Romain Lizé told ZENIT that Magnificat will release in October a version of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, and that the publishing house sought to produce «an attractive missal in keeping with the greatest tradition in illustrated liturgical books.»

«The spirit of this ancient tradition was to honor the glory of God through the artistic beauty of the book itself,» he said. «Every aspect of these books was conceived with a view to creating a work of art.»

The deputy publisher noted that Magnificat’s inspiration was Benedict XVI, «who recalled that the liturgy is inherently linked to beauty. He explains more particularly that our liturgies will radiate with reverence as the celebrants pray before the face of God’s beauty.»

«Beauty is not mere decoration,» the Pope said, «but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation.»

«Magnificat took these words to heart,» said Lizé, «and created an exquisitely crafted Missal in collaboration with Mame and Desclée, pontifical publishers since 1756.»

The deputy publisher explained that the Catholic publishing house designed The Magnificat Roman Missal «with the highest quality materials,» and that it is «adorned with more than 130 reproductions of sacred art paintings, drawings, woodcuts, and engravings.»

«Our goal,» he added, «was simply to help our priests pray in beauty as they celebrate Mass. Of course, when a priest celebrates he does not see all of this, but he knows it is there, and it affects the way he says Mass.

«It is a bit like celebrating in a beautiful church or a cathedral: the priest does not spend his time looking around, but he is aware of the beauty of the architecture surrounding him, and it has a subtle yet real way of permeating his liturgical action.»

Lizé noted that the publishing house also sought to produce a missal that is «very practical» and durable: «It is printed by one of Italy’s premier art book printers that has specialized in luxurious liturgical books since 1900. We asked this printer to bind our Missal with a reinforced spine and an additional double layer of lining to ensure durability on a par with that of centuries-old Missals.

«Nowadays sacristies often contain Sacramentaries that come apart at the seams after only a few years because they were not properly bound; our Missals are made to last for generations.»

The deputy publisher said that the Magnificat missal also stands out for its «maximum readability,» which is important because liturgies often take place in low-light environments.

The altar edition sells for US$169, and the chapel edition is available for $79.

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