30066RE: [liturgy-l] Crafting the Printed Liturgical Book
- May 1, 2007I remember Fr. Earle Maddux, SSJE (editor of the American Missal and the
Manual for Priests among other things) who told me back around 1960, that he
had an 'editorial board' of housewives andother people with only a high
school education that he had read his rubrics. If the average fellow or
woman with an average education (for those days--I know I am grasping here
given the present state of public education) could figure out how to do
something liturgically, then so could the average priest! May his memory be
And Simon's closing remarks are spot on! I hate so-called 'Liturgical
Books' in which the pages fly all over the room first time you open them.
Bah! Liturgical books done on the cheap may indicate cheap liturgy.
"Reverence is taking pains." As someone once said.
From: Simon Kershaw
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 6:03 AM
Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Crafting the Printed Liturgical Book
Robert Lyons wrote:
> What suggestions might the folks on this list have for the layout,Clarity, dignity, worthiness for its sacred role, easy to hold (if it's
> design, appearance, etc... of a contemporary liturgy book? What would
> make the book easy to use for you if you were visiting a local
> congregation, worshipping in a different rite than you were used to
> (or, for that matter, worshipping liturgically for the first time)?
to be handheld).
Minimize page turns -- never break a ministerial congregational text
across a page turn, and if possible avoid across facing pages too. If a
text is too long to fit on a single page then it must be broken: always
break it at a paragraph break or similar. These are simple practical
details for any liturgical book.
When drafting the text pay attention to the rubrics. Don't write them in
some kind of remote ecclesiastical style, but use ordinary language
wherever possible (some technical terms are no doubt inevitable).
Make it easy to distinguish in the printed text who is saying which
bits. For example, it has become a convention in Britain across the
denominations since the 1970s to print congregational words in bold
type. Whilst one might argue about the over-use of bold type from a
typographical perspective it does have the advantage of being quite clear.
Minimize the number of cross-references that must be followed. Better
perhaps to move forwards to another page and continue from there than to
have to go forwards then back to the page you came from. Again, this may
be hard to achieve. But ribbon bookmarks are expensive things to insert
into book manufacture -- and too many ribbons are too confusing for all
but the cognoscenti anyway.
Choose paper that provides contrast to the type, remembering that the
book may be used in poor lighting conditions, and by people with failing
eyesight. Choose paper that is not so thin that it is hard to turn and
shows the print from the next page or pages. Choose paper that is not so
thick that the book is unwieldy.
Choose a binding that will withstand wear and tear and frequent opening
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