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30066RE: [liturgy-l] Crafting the Printed Liturgical Book

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  • James Morgan
    May 1, 2007
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      I 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.

      Rdr. James
      Olympia, WA

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Simon Kershaw
      Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 6:03 AM
      To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] Crafting the Printed Liturgical Book

      Robert Lyons wrote:
      > What suggestions might the folks on this list have for the layout,
      > 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)?

      Clarity, dignity, worthiness for its sacred role, easy to hold (if it's
      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
      and closing.

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