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The Campion Missal & Hymnal (992 pages long) is the first of its kind. It is a pew book providing the faithful with everything they require to properly assist at the Traditional Latin Mass.
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Why do we never sing “De Spiritu Sancto” (St. Athenogenes) in our churches? There are a dozen translations in English verse. Where could anyone find a better evening hymn than this, coming right down from the catacombs? Our hymnbooks know nothing of such a treasure as this, and give us pages of poor sentiment in doggerel lines by some tenth-rate modern versifier.
— Rev’d Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

Interview about Campion Missal, 2nd Edition
published 17 July 2013 by St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal

New Liturgical Blog: I’ve been told that very few copies of the Campion Missal & Hymnal (First Edition) remain in stock. How far along is the Second Edition?

J. Ostrowski: It’s totally done. We approved and sent off the entire thing about a month ago. The books will start shipping in approximately fifteen business days.

New Liturgical Blog: What has changed? Why another edition?

J. Ostrowski: I suppose the best way to find out would be to purchase the Second Edition and see for yourself, but let me attempt to briefly summarize: (1) several typos were corrected; (2) the Solemn Mass section was completely redone and now has a clearer, more “classic” layout; (3) a ribbon has been added; (4) minor improvements were made throughout the book to things like headers; and (5) the cover has been changed to a more subtle, elegant design. The original cover was lovely, but some priests felt it clashed with the colors/architecture in their churches (ours is a book for the congregation).

New Liturgical Blog: You’re sounding a bit like a vacuum salesman who came to my door the other day . . .

J. Ostrowski: Ha! Well, let me be honest: I did not believe the First Edition could be improved upon, but I was wrong. Perhaps I could be permitted to share a comment by one of the proofreaders of the Second Edition?

Contrary to my initial reaction, after looking closely at this Second Edition, I feel the simplification of the layout and the loss of some artwork may have been a blessing in disguise. I think a majority of folks will find the new more clean-cut format more readable. The subdivision and open 2-column formatting of things like the Lavabo is a big improvement, as is the new Crucifixion and more visible display of the Te igitur, making them easier for neophytes to follow. Also, I think the new page footers may be helpful for newcomers to the TLM. In short, as a major devotee and promoter of your Campion missal in its First Edition, I wind up my review of this Second Edition simply liking it better!

New Liturgical Blog: Applying “computer lingo,” is this new edition of yours backwards compatible?

J. Ostrowski: Oh, absolutely. None of the page numbers have changed, nor any of the music.

New Liturgical Blog: Would you allow us a sneak peek?

J. Ostrowski: I’d be honored, but please understand how difficult it is for an editor to choose examples. You’ve heard the phrase: “It’s like choosing between children.” Here’s one, and here’s another:

As you probably know, many actions for Solemn Mass do not occur at Low Mass. The Campion Missal was the first in history to print both Solemn and Low in their entirety to make sure the faithful can easily follow Mass. We tried not to repeat pictures: for example, the Low Mass images focus much more on the priest’s gestures, the position of his hands, and so forth. Deciding upon the desired angles took months of preparation. Perhaps your viewers would appreciate seeing a very early draft:

New Liturgical Blog: I know you wrote a series of articles for NLM when your book was first released. Now that you’ve had time to reflect upon the entire project, could you share a few reflections?

J. Ostrowski: Editing a missal or hymnal is all about choices. For instance, all of us would agree that large, legible type is a good thing. On the other hand, extremely heavy books with numerous page turns are bad things. How does one strike a balance? Choices like these keep editors awake at night. In the end, the Campion Missal ended up being a book of moderate size and weight, approximately half the width of the blue CTS missal:

Remember how the fictitious detective Sherlock Holmes could look at someone’s wristwatch and deduce the moral character of its owner? Having looked at so many historical Catholic missals (going back centuries), I often feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes. For instance, when I see a sample page from the Burns Oates 1952 Missal:

7214 Burns Oates Missal

I cannot help but notice their editorial choices: the way they abbreviate the Scriptures, the peculiar text wrap around the initial capital “A,” the non-capitalized pronouns for God, the lowercase letters used after drop caps, the thin “see-through” pages, and so forth. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages. The most interesting choice for me is usually how the Latin is “lined up” to the English. In the Burns Oates Missal above, we see they used a larger font for the Latin. Another solution is to place the Latin in a smaller column than the vernacular, as they do in this 1764 Missal printed in Paris:

7215 Paris Missal

However, I have a problem with both of these approaches: they look uneven. My eye simply cannot get used to the lack of symmetry. The Roman liturgy is very balanced, so it seemed logical to me that missals should be balanced. Several of the FSSP priests agreed that printing the Latin in a smaller column implied a type of “discrimination.” Therefore, we ended up chosing the approach of this 1806 Missal, where the font size and columns are uniform:

7213 London Missal

One disagreement throughout the creation process had to do with rubrics. Many of the traditional priests who assisted with proofreading are accustomed to liturgical books which describe every rubric in detail. I had decided early on to include only those rubrics which would edify the faithful or help them follow Mass. On this issue, I “stuck to my guns,” in spite of pressure. One consulter even wanted me to include all the rubrics in Latin. I was happy to discover the following sentence in the Preface to the Burns Oates 1952 Missal, because it confirmed my decision:

The rubrics are in English throughout, and have been specially prepared to give the reader all necessary information, without entering into minute directions which concern the celebrant alone.

Let me emphasize once more that every choice has advantages and disadvantages. Our hope is that the Campion Missal, in spite of its flaws, will allow Catholics to assist at Mass with greater devotion.

New Liturgical Blog: If people could take away just one thing from this interview, what would it be?

J. Ostrowski: I want them to understand our book is designed for the congregation. Ordinary Form priests are accustomed to purchasing hymnals and missalettes for their entire congregation, but this doesn’t occur to many Extraordinary Form priests. As a result, members of the congregation who (for whatever reason) don’t have a missal with them end up staring into space the whole Mass. How can your congregation sing a hymn together at the end of Mass if everybody has a different book? Perhaps this situation arose because until recently it was almost impossible to purchase a Catholic hymnal that wasn’t chock-full of embarrassing texts and goofy tunes.

New Liturgical Blog: Is it true you flew your entire family to Europe, since your wife acted as director of photography for the beautiful color images in the Missal?

J. Ostrowski: That’s correct, and at that time Cynthia was pregnant with our second child. I can tell you it was difficult to travel from Switzerland to Rome with a 1-yr-old and all our equipment. Our schedule was quite hectic. At the same time, members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter were incredibly helpful, and we will never forget their kindness. I can’t help but wonder if some of the seminarians were strengthened in their celibate vocation when they saw “up close” how much work is required by an energetic toddler hopelessly off her sleep schedule (due to the time zone change)! Speaking of the photographs, it was necessary to take many “test” shots to get the proper lighting in advance (and the Blessed Sacrament was of course removed during this process). My daughter was actually strapped to my chest at the time, which in hindsight looks rather comical.

New Liturgical Blog: Did you take “behind the scenes” photographs documenting any of this?

J. Ostrowski: Not nearly as many as I would have wished, but I believe we might have a few somewhere. I’d be happy to provide them if you think these would interest your readers.