OK so it arrived, after long last, after 40 years of sub-standard Mass texts done in the 70s style, we have a new translation and here, finally, the new Missal for us lay folk to use, dispatched by Amazon the Reliable. Great.
Now the layout of this book is excellent. The page layout is excellent, with the readings and prayers of the Mass in clear type and nicely spaced. Each Sunday or Holy Day has an introductory paragraph, typically from the Papal Magisterium, and the book begins with excerpts from the Second Vatican Council and recent Magisterial documents on the Eucharist. This is excellent, because these texts need to be widely read by all the Church's faithful, and putting them in this volume makes them very accessible. The pictures which grace the pages are excellent, colour plates and these appear only at major feasts of the Church's year. At the end, there are devotions including prayers and texts for Eucharistic Benediction, Stations of the Cross (by Blessed John Henry Newman), and the Mysteries of the Rosary. There is a rich selection of prayers for before and after Mass, including prayers by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Ambrose, the Anima Christi, and a few others which I'd not seen before. The Ordinary of the Mass is in the centre of the book, with red page edges so you can find it easily, and the prayers are also provided in Latin so that one can attend a Latin Ordinary Form Mass, which will hopefully become increasingly common in the coming years. There's a really good preparation for Confession with a good examination of conscience, as well as a section on what to do if you can't make Mass (due to a serious reason). There are two ribbon markers.
One really neat and innovative feature is that in the gilded presentation edition, the Ordinary of the Mass is in the centre of the book, with red page edges which show even through the gilding, which is most innovative and I've never seen that done before in a book.
Buy the Presentation Edition - you will not be disappointed!
I will now make comment on CTS New Sunday Missal: People's Edition with New Translation of the Mass (Missal Sunday)
, for the benefit of those who are not sure which to buy. OK, so it costs less, but which is best?
The cover of the Standard Edition looks good, and it feels good, but it does not inspire confidence in me. It appears to be a matt, somewhat porous cover, one that looks like it would readily absorb and display water, grease, and any other marks which might be expected to appear on a volume in regular use. It does not look to me as if it could easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. I could be wrong, and only time will tell. For that reason, I would advise prospective purchasers to pull out all the stops and buy the presentation edition. Not only do you get a better quality cover, but you also get gilded pages (really an essential as far as I am concerned for a liturgical book) and a slipcase, albeit one made of card. Get it here: CTS New Sunday Missal - Presentation Edition: People's Edition with New Translation of the Mass (Missal Sunday)
Fr. Z has reviewed the standard edition, with photographs, on his blog. Use the following search terms on Google to find his review: ''CTS (UK) People's Edition of the Roman Missal ("hand missal" for Ordinary Form)''.
In short, 4 stars for the standard edition and I'd give 5 for this Presentation Edition. Note also that the burgundy presentation edition is actually a darker colour than that shown in the product illustration. To my eye, it is almost brown.
I'm certain that this missal can achieve great things if it is used and loved by as many people as possible. It will be a small but vital tool in the restoration of our Catholic identity and the renewal of the Church. Having carefully examined and used both at the Christmas Day Mass, I can happily recommend this Missal and would advise all of ye to get the Presentation Edition. Is that clear? =p