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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The final two...

The final two on the list, were sadly, not very hard to rank.  I had a harder time with the middle of the pack than with the top three and the bottom two.  I really tried to be charitable with Catholic Book Publishing and Liturgical Press, but, looking at their offerings made me wonder if they did not carefully read Liturgiam Authenticam.

7. Catholic Book Publishing

In business for 100 years, Catholic Book Publishing should have some experience with the Roman Missal.  After all, it's been publishing the venerable St. Joseph's Weekday Missals for quite some time.   However, it's latest offering, in my opinion, sadly comes up somewhat short.

The cover for the deluxe Roman Missal (priced at a reasonable $159) looks nice, and some of the artwork is traditonal.  However, the work that is imbedded within the actual text is, in my opinion, poor quality.  It looks too juvenile and does not match the nobility of the words that it is designed to highlight.  The use of sans-serif type is also problematic in that it makes the highlighted text seem too harsh.

Here is a link to the sample pages:

The cloth-bound altar edition runs $129 and its chapel version is set at $89.  Budget-conscious parishes might want to opt for the Magnificat since they would be getting a higher-quality product at a better price.

8. Liturgical Press

When I posted my rankings and copied them on Musica Sacrae, a composer who writes for Liturgical Press thought that perhaps I was a tad bit too harsh in my critique of the artwork in LP's version of the Roman Missal. 

Here is the cover:


Some might find a similarity between it and the one for the Midwest Theological Forum.  The only similarity that I find is that it is a depiction of Christ the King.  What makes LP's version problematic is that the artwork is quite harsh and not at all attractive.  The composer told me that maybe I wasn't seeing it in the best possible light because of the color of the paper and how it might not have translated well as a PDF.  Even after three viewings (with whatever adjustments he had them make at LP), it is still not attractive art.  Frankly, I would love to get the Crescat's opinion on this since she knows a thing or two about bad art.  It would be interesting to get her take on this.

There is also a strange mix of fonts that I found rather distracting.  I saw the sans-serif on top, but, within the body of the text, I wasn't sure if they were mixing Times New Roman with another similar font.

LP, at least as of this posting, does not seem to offer a leather-bound edition.  Both the Ritual edition and the Chapel version are cloth-bound, with the Ritual Edition coming in at $169 and the smaller, Chapel version priced at $119.95.

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