Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Roman Missal, Third Edition: A Publisher's Excitement

Welcome to "New Translation Thursday."

As you know, World Library Publications/J. S. Paluch is publishing two versions of The Roman Missal, Third Edition. Publishers were given two choices with regard to the texts of the Missal. The first was to use the Word documents provided by the BCDW in January or wait until the completely designed files in the program InDesign were released in the Spring. Here at WLP/JSP, we decided to work with the texts provided in January, which meant setting the styles, typeface, and design of the pages. We were given very stringent instructions by the BCDW with regard to the overall design elements. One of the hardest decisions had to do with the chant as it appeared in the received texts. As a music publisher, we felt strongly that we could do a service to the Church by re-engraving the chants in the Missal (over 250 pages of chant). I am very proud to say that we have award-winning (Paul Revere Awards - did you know Revere was a music engraver?) music engravers on our staff here at WLP. We all put our heads together, and, after consultation with the BCDW and ICEL, made the decision to re-do all of the chants in the Missal. We could very easily have decided simply to wait until the Spring, obtain the InDesign files and print those files exactly as received. As with most things around here, we chose not to take the easier route. So, for the past three months, our editors, music engravers, and designers have been hard at work crafting a book, a Roman Missal that will serve the needs of the singing and praying Church. We have received the actual copies, the so-called "dummy" copies from the manufacturer, which means that we have been able to hold, feel, work with, turn the blank pages, grab the leather tabs, work with the ribbons, feel the richness of the genuine leather cover, move our hands and fingers over the debossed Florentine scrollwork on both the genuine and bonded leather covers. As we have done this, the reality has hit us. We are creating a worthy and dignified book for the Church's worship.

Yesterday, I was able to examine a large section from the Missal that is being sent to our proofreaders. I sat in our music room and began to sing the chants. I chose one of the longer prefaces (for the dedication of a church and altar). There I sat, chanting away. Up until that point I had not yet seen the work done by our music engravers, editors, and designers. I can't tell you how pleased I was. The chant flowed naturally; there were no hyphenated words; there were no odd line breaks. The chant simply flowed. It was at that point that I realized that this is a significant contribution to the prayer of the Church.

Of course I love to talk about our editions of The Roman Missal. I don't hide the fact that I believe that we have done a superior job with our editions. I don't hide the pride I have for our fine employees. It is an amazing thing to see here in this small publishing house: a group of dedicated people rallying around a project that we believe will have a significant impact on the Church.

Thanks for listening to this quasi-commercial. I just couldn''t contain my own excitement about the fact that this publishing process is moving along.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Chironomo said...


I'm glad to hear such good things about your Missal, as it is likely the one we will be using!

I also need to speak with you, perhaps off-line, about getting sample-type materials for a large-scale presentation to our Diocese musicians in September...Mass settings, etc.

If you have time...

Joanne Mercier said...

Jerry, I may have missed this in a previous discussion but will you be publishing a soft cover study edition of the new missal? As one who plans rituals I really don't need the hard cover book so maybe even a CD-ROM of the files would do. Also, do you have any price points for the books yet? From everything I've heard It may be a significant cash outlay. Thanks for writing this blog - your even-handed outlook on the upcoming transition has been very helpful and appreciated.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Hello Joanne. Publishers are not allowed to publish any edition expect the hard cover one right now. And the Vatican has made it clear that there are to be no electronic versions manufactured or made available. Please visit our web site for information on prices of the Missal.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for your excitement. Hopefully, it wears off on to the many who feel otherwise.