A few weeks ago we previewed a new magazine, or periodical, missal for the extraordinary form (Tridentine Latin Mass) called Laudamus Te. You can read that post here. There was some uncertainty of whether it would get off the ground, but today I received my Advent 2012 – Volume 1, Issue 1 in the mail. I am quite excited and decided to do a review of it. I am sure others will give you a much more academic and detailed review, but as our family attends the Mass in usus antiquior semi-regularly it seemed that a review from my perspective would be helpful to some.1
Many people have mentioned to me that they want to go to a “latin mass” but they want to be able to “follow along” easily. Hand missals are expensive, and somewhat confusing for the novice attendee. I really think that Laudamus te could be the answer for many, especially if parishes buy bulk subscriptions to this magazine and have them available for visitors.
The Package & Shipping:
As you can see from the picture, Laudamus Press is in Hamlin, PA. I was glad to see that the package was sent in as economical of a package as possible.2 I knew right away what it was. This comes in plenty of time to read, review, and prepare for this magazines time period and use. Glad to see that shipping and printing are timely.
Magazine and Card:
Included in the envelope was the magazine and a nice card thanking me for subscribing. I am a big fan of “thank you” notes and for companies that acknowledge that their customers are not only spending money on their product, but in many ways investing in the company’s mission. In my case, I try and support Catholic companies that provide good products or services not only for a business transaction, but for the economic impact and spiritual support of that company or organization.
The Card: The card is simply branded, but done so in a nice way. It appears Lt is using their name with some musical notes as the logo, which is a reference to the chant and sacred music which is so deeply rooted in the usus antiquior. On the back there is a note describing the future issues of Lt:
Please note that our Christmas issue, and all subsequent issue, will be expanded to include a morning and evening prayer, including the Benedictus and Magnificat from the Divine Office.
We appreciate your continued prayers for the success of Laudamus te.
It is good to know that these things will be included, and it is obvious that this magazine will try and be more than just a mass aid.
The Magazine: The quality of the cover, and art, of the first issue is very high quality. It is a glossy soft-cover book material, so I believe it is at the same level, if not a higher quality, than the Magnificat. The look, feel, and size of the booklet are perfect for what it will be used for and it will easily fit in any covers or pockets that you may already have for other magazines. It also fits into the pocket of a sport coat or suit jacket. The back cover contains the music and words for Tota Pulchra Es. The inside cover has a welcome and explanation of why the magazine has come to exist. As well a brief intro and explanation of Advent. Overall I am highly impressed with the presentation and materials used on the
As you can see from the table of contents, there is more to this magazine than simply the Ordinary and Propers. There are prayers, essays, meditations, the Ordinary, the Propers, liturgical prayers, Catechism excerpts, and other writings. The magazine is 129 pages. It is a perfect companion for Mass, as it has just enough to be more than simply a Mass tool, and yet not too much to seem cumbersome and bulky.
The “Additional Content”:
There is more than what is included in the Propers and Ordinary. The first thing in the magazine is a prayer by Fr. Frederick William Faber. Then there is an essay/writing on Advent by Fr. James Fryar, F.S.S.P. It is in the section titled: “The Life of the Church.” There is another prayer and then a section titled “The Church Fathers Speak.” (See pic below).This issue there is a reflection/essay on the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius XII. This is a great way to put small, but seminal excerpts, into the hands of people.
The end of the magazine has more of this “additional content” and it is a very nice addition. Overall I think it is great to have this in here and don’t think it is too much. In fact, I think the additions of the morning and evening prayers will be further beneficial additions and wont make the magazine “bulky” in terms of content.
The Art: In the picture to the right, you can see a small portion of it. In this issue, most of the inside art was done by Dan Mitsui.3 I am a fan of Mitsui so I liked it, and it was nice to see the community of Catholic artists and projects working together. I know some people don’t like Mitsui’s art, but I think it adds a wonderful personal touch to the magazine and was excited to see it a part of the project.
The Ordinary and Propers:
These are the main parts of the magazine and are the contents of The Mass. There isn’t much to say here about content, because the content is simply taken from the Roman Missal. That being said, what most concerns readers are the fonts, layout, colors, margins, and other technical layout features which make this magazine either easy or difficult to use. Fortunately, the former is true of Lt and I am quite pleased with how it was formatted.
Fonts & Colors: All of the fonts are good sized serif fonts.4 The latin is italicized which gives a good separation between the two sides. All the instructions are in a nice red which is a true red, and contrasts nicely with the black. The edges of the pages for the Ordinary are in red, and this is a nice touch. The fonts and colors are really nicely done.
Layout: The margins of missals always seem to be a problem. In this magazine that problem has been addressed and is not a problem. The margins are nicely spaced, and allow for easy reading and clean layout. It was my number one worry with the magazine, which sounds odds, but I am quite pleased.
Another nice feature is that the instructions and postures of the Ordinary are in red, and clearly explained. I am sure there will be others that review this that have a better understanding of what should and shouldn’t be in this magazine in terms of content, but from my point of view I feel like this gives the beginner a good sense of what is going on during the Mass and how to follow along. The Propers also have a nice meditation before each day. It is nice to have the Propers for the whole season, and although they are for the main Mass that day, it is more than enough with the Ordinary to be a stand alone guide for most people, most days. Again, the red and black coloring is a nice contrast.5
I am extremely pleased with the magazine, the layout, the content, and everything surrounding the project. The price is very reasonable, $32 for 6 issues a year, or $5.95 an issue.6 The technical portions of the magazine are great. Aside from one minor printing issue, I am very pleased with the production value of the magazine. It is a high quality product at a reasonable price.
The content is perfect. There is everything necessary for Sunday Mass and Daily Mass attendees. Lt is a perfect Mass magazine for those that don’t want to take their hand missal to every Mass. As a strong proponent of full Missals, I don’t think this will hurt the Missal business because although the content is technically duplicate in nature, there is still reason for a family to have both. For those that don’t like the cumbersome nature of a hand missal for every Mass, this is a perfect solution. Yet, it does not have the full breadth, of course, of what is contained in a full hand missal.
I know there are a few other missals and Mass aids out there to help folks with the Extraordinary Form. Some of those materials provide a financial benefit and help to parishes and organizations, yet this is the first such publication that has taken the effort and risk to put out a highly marketable product, and for that I feel Lt Press should be supported and praised. I hope that parishes that don’t produce their own materials will consider getting a small quantity of these for visitors of the EF to aid in their appreciation and understanding of the Mass.
If you attend the Extraordinary Form occasionally, or on a semi-regular basis or more, I suggest investing and supporting this product. It is well worth the $32 and is a worthwhile project to support, as I am sure it will help and benefit many that attend Mass in the usus antiquior.
- Full disclosure: I paid for this subscription and nothing was offered to me in return or for free for this review. [↩]
- This is a startup, so I am glad to see them conserving costs to ensure that it gets off the ground well. [↩]
- For more see: http://danielmitsui.com [↩]
- This means there are little “feet” on the bottom which helps give it a classical look, and eases reading when looking up and back down. [↩]
- NB: There are about 8 pages that have a little bit of blurring for me on the red text only on some of the back pages. It in no way detracts from the overall use of the magazine, and you can tell that it was a printing error. It could be only mine, or a slight issue with the whole run, but overall it is not something that worries me. [↩]
- Postage is around $1.25 an issue or $7 a year [↩]