Publication of New Missal Rare Experience

*The article below is a glimpse into the process of creating the new missals that will be used very shortly.

Project was a labor of love for several American publishers, leading editors and other staffers deeper into the mystery of the Mass.

Midwest Theological ForumThe altar missal produced by Midwest Theological Forum, open to the beginning of the First Eucharistic Prayer, features a reproduction of Diego Velázquez' Christ on the Cross, from the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
– Midwest Theological Forum
Publishing the English translation of the new Roman Missal is a once-in-a-generation undertaking that has drawn the assistance of a record number of seven publishers across the United States.

The most significant change to the text of the Mass since the Second Vatican Council has been years in the making. 
“It’s a little bit daunting,” said John Thomas, director of Liturgy Training Publications, which is owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

For all but two of the publishers — Catholic Book Publishing Corp. and Liturgical Press — this is the first time they have come out with an English edition of the altar Missal. The text was the same for all, but each publisher added distinctive features, from artwork to the layout, poring over every detail in a book they say is unlike any other they have ever published. One publisher compared the construction of the Missal to a cathedral. Another said his company treated the book like an icon.
“Every publisher involved has taken this project very seriously,” said Peter Dwyer, director of Liturgical Press.
The altar Missal is a one-of-a-kind project for any book publisher, Dwyer said, because of the numerous tabs and ribbons, two-color text, and the need for a durable book that will be made of high-quality materials — at approximately 1,500 pages, to boot. Add to all that a ream of formal requirements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship — such as the mandate that the pagination be the same for all editions and that all publishers include a minimum of 15 illustrations — and the project became that much more complicated, publishers said. 

For some publishers, the task was an unprecedented undertaking that consumed most, if not all, of their staff’s time and talents.
Aside from the altar Missal itself, World Library Publishers developed 17 musical settings for the Mass, which were all done in the space of two years — a remarkable achievement, given that it normally takes up to a year and a half just to do one music setting, according to Jerry Galipeau, associate publisher at World Library Publications, which is a division of the J.S. Paluch Company, Inc.

“It has been an unbelievable two years,” said Galipeau. “It’s amazing to see what we’ve done.”
World Library Publications is also re-publishing any of its hymnals and missalettes that had the text of the Mass in it. “We went back to square one on everything. Everything that contains the text of the Mass has been redone,” Galipeau said.

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