How Many Roman Missals Do We Need?

Responding to a post on the NLM about Midwest Theological Forum’s plans to publish an edition of the new English Missal, Fr. Franklyn McAfee commented:

I hope they also will do an edition of the Missale Romanum (1962).

This got me thinking. Between the Benzinger reprint from PCP and the Vatican edition we’re pretty well situated for 1962 Missals at this point, if perhaps not so well situated that another edition wouldn’t be a good thing.

And anyways, what’s the harm in another edition? Actually, there is a downside: economies of scale.  The balance on the 1962 Missal might still tilt towards additional editions.  I’m not as convinced that we need as many editions of the new missal as have already been announced.

While I’m glad we have other art choices than those of the Liturgical Press edition, is the difference between the Midwest Theological Forum edition and the Magnificat edition going to be worth the increased price of both missals?

Now, is there anything we can do about this? Unless we’re liturgical publishers, probably not. Centralized control probably wouldn’t work any better. But liturgical publishers should try to make sure they’re offering something different from what the competition is offering and not just multiplying their offerings uselessly and wasting everyone’s money and time.  Newman House Press apparently has plans for a Latin/English Missale parvum, which sounds interesting.

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