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Collecting Anglican Missals

Updated on February 19, 2013

Collecting Anglican Missals and Altar Books

Collecting vintage Anglo-Catholic missals is inevitably something of a niche pursuit but nonetheless rewarding as many of them are superb example of the printers' and bookbinders' art, combining design, illustration, materials and craftsmanship to a high degree. Collecting them offers also the usual collector's pleasures of the thrill of the hunt, the finding of a neglected gem or unrecognised treasure, a rare edition, fine binding or association copy and, of course, often the greatest pleasure, being able to share your find with others.

The aim of this lens is to provide an introduction to the range of Missals generally to be found, especially here in the UK, and to share information, images and tips and, hopefully, to help others enjoy collecting and studying these works as well.

Some Anglican Missals and Altar Books
Some Anglican Missals and Altar Books

Anglican Missals

A brief essay

From the mid nineteenth century onwards, there was a movement within the Anglican Church to reassert its Catholic roots and identity. Known variously as the Oxford Movement (after the seat of learning which gave it its birth) or the Tractarian Movement (after its chosen method of expressing its principles, the publication of shortish essays or "tracts"), this movement in course of time gave birth to a Ritualist movement, which added to the Oxford Movement's concern with the reassertion of Catholic doctrine, a concern for the enrichment of the forms of prayer and eucharist in the Elizabethan/Carolingian Book of Common Prayer with a more Catholic ceremonial and, in some cases, content. One of the fruits of this concern was a growing proliferation of altar books and hand missals embodying the various strands of liturgical though present within the wider Catholic movement. In terms of these missals for Anglican use, the main ones one finds are:

The English Missal (Knott)

The Anglican Missal (SSPP)

The American Missal

The Missal, being the Priest's edition of "The People's Missal," (E.A.L. Clarke, published 1920.)

The Altar Missal (published for the Society of St. John the Evangelist by Mowbray's, edited by Fr E.C. Trenholme.)

Altar Book containing the Order of Holy Communion According to the Use of the Church of England with Additions from the Sarum Missal edited by a committee of Priests. (A second and revised edition was produced in 1914.)

The English Liturgy (Dearmer)

These were all altar missals, supplemented by lay/pew editions, viz:

English Missal - English Missal for the Laity

Anglican Missal - People's Shorter Anglican Missal/Abridged Anglican Missal/People's Anglican Missal in the American edition

The Missal - The People's Missal (interestingly, published first, before the altar edition, in 1916)

There was no real pew version of the SSJE missal or the Altar Book that I am aware of.

Content

Of these, I think that it is the case that the English Missal is the most faithful to the Roman Rite (containing that Rite in its entirety plus the BCP communion service), the American Missal is the most conservative in its use of non-Prayer Book materials, the Anglican Missal is most 1549, and the People's Missal is the most eclectic. The English Missal is the only one that was updated after the 1956 Roman Catholic Holy Week reforms of Pope Pius XII, in its final (fifth) edition, brought out in 1958. The Altar Missal and Altar Book were both heavily Sarum influenced whilst The English Liturgy was almost purely BCP with an admixture of authorised materials such as additional collects from diocesan and provincial sources.

Chronology

Dalby (in his "Anglican Missals and their Canons") gives the first edition of "The Missale Anglicanum/English Missal" as 1912, the same year as the SSPP "Music of the Mass" (a forerunner of the "Anglican Missal.") This was followed by a second edition in 1923, incorporating some phrases from the SSPP translations featured in the Exeter Books (from which the 1921 "Anglican Missal" was compiled.) The third edition of the English Missal, brought out by Knott alone, appeared in 1934. Knott had acquired the title from Fr. Kenrick, the original promoter. In 1936 the first edition of the SSJE Altar Missal came out. 1939 saw the revision of the "Anglican Missal", with the fourth edition of the "English Missal" appearing in the following year. I believe that a further edition of the Anglican Missal came out in 1946, and a second edition of the Altar Missal, incorporating minor changes, in 1957. The fifth edition of the "English Missal" came out in 1958.

The English Missal for the Laity was produced in three editions, of 1933, 1949 and 1958 whilst the various pew editions of the Anglican Missal coincided roughly with the publication of the altar edition.

The English Missal and the English Missal for the Laity

The English Missal (also colloquially known as the Knott Missal) and the English Missal for the Laity, although both published by Knott, were actually slightly different books. The copyright for the English Missal proper, first published as a private venture, was acquired by Knott, whilst the copyright for the English Missal for the Laity remained with the original compiler and, as a result of this, a few minor variations resulted. The English Missal for the Laity (says Dalby) "was the personal venture of Fr Drew, who was soon to become Rector of Throwleigh in Devon, with Knott again acting as printer and selling copies on commission [as it had done with the English Missal proper prior to 1934]. Drew's translations were similar to those of the 1934 altar edition [e.g. the third edition of The English Missal], but sometimes he deviated from these so that, although both editions were clearly of the same "family", what the layman read in the pew was not always the same as what the priest was saying at the altar. As The English Missal for the Laity went into further editions, the ownership remained with Fr Drew and its translations continued to differ at some points from those in the altar book."

(Drew enters the picture as one of the committee which led an abortive attempt to design a new missal containing the best of the Missals, Anglican and English. This project unfortunately fell by the wayside, and led to Fr Kenrick, the author of the English Missal, (who was getting on in years) passing the copyright of The English Missal to Knott, resulting in the 1934 edition of the same. The collaboration's one arguable result was an improved set of translations in that edition, which Dalby suggests was due to the influence of the SSPP who favoured a more "literary" than literal style for translations from the Latin.)

The Anglican Missal family

The Anglican Missal, and its variants the People's Shorter Anglican Missal, An Abridged Anglican Missal (an expansion, by popular demand, of the People's Shorter Anglican Missal) and the Church Missonary Missal, were all produced by the Society of Ss Peter and Paul (SSPP). The selection of texts is slightly more eclectic and the translations more literary than in the English Missal - doubtless due in part to the influence of Fr Ronald Knox, author of the New Testament translation which I review below. Inter alia, the SSPP also functioned as a church furnisher in a small way and brought the world "Lambeth" incense and the "Ridley" votive candle stand!

The People's Anglican Missal was taken up in due course by the Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation in the U.S., revised in conformity with the American Prayer Book and issued in an American edition - first in 1946 I think. This and the companion altar missal have been kept in print by the various continuing churches in the United States of America.

The Missal and People's Missal

The People's Missal and companion altar book The Missal were another private production, this time by the Rev. G.A.L. Clarke, an eclectic combination mixing in Ambrosian elements and Eastern as well.

The Altar Missal

The Altar Missal was published for the Society of St. John the Evangelist with that society's approbation by Mowbray's and edited by Fr E.C. Trenholme, who also produced the Society's Sarum-influenced "Hours of Prayer from Lauds to Compline." It came out in 1936 and a second edition with minor changes followed in 1957. Amongst its more interesting features was the inclusion of the South African communion service. (A copy of this is currently auctioning on eBay - see below.)

The English Liturgy

Edited by Percy Dearmer, The English Liturgy was an adamantly Prayer Book Catholic work , containing the Prayer Book communion service only, unaltered, with only such additional matter (collects etc.) as had Anglican sanction.

Proper for Easter Day from the English Missal
Proper for Easter Day from the English Missal

Where to buy and pricing - a note

Clearly the surest place to find missals of this kind is at one of the various specialist booksellers, such as the (apparently sadly defunct)Anglican Bibliopole (in the US) or Chris Grady (e-mail: sacerdote@telstra.com), Philip Lund, Alan & Margaret Edwards (e-mail: a.m.books@lineone.net), Gage Books and Rosemary Pugh here in the UK. Other sources include Amazon, eBay, advertisements in the right Anglican papers, and local Anglican Churches with the right liturgical history. Please note that the prices given are booksellers' and Amazon prices. Buying through the other sources listed may well deliver lower prices. However they are less sure as sources.

The Anglican Missal
The Anglican Missal

The Anglican Missal by the Society of Saints Peter and Paul

A rare Anglican altar missal

The Anglican Missal, and its variants the People's Shorter Anglican Missal, An Abridged Anglican Missal (an expansion, by popular demand, of the People's Shorter Anglican Missal) and the Church Missonary Missal, were all produced by the Society of Ss Peter and Paul (SSPP). The selection of texts is slightly more eclectic and the translations more literary than in the English Missal - doubtless due in part to the influence of Fr Ronald Knox, author of quite possibly the last one-man bible translation! Inter alia, the SSPP also functioned as a church furnisher in a small way and brought the world "Lambeth" incense and the "Ridley" votive candle stand! Of the various missals available, the Anglican Missal is (perhaps oddly, given that the SSPP were very baroque/Ultramontane in their devotional and furnishing style) the one which uses most material from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, and also the one most literary in its translation of the Latin texts used. The forerunner of the Anglican Missal was the SSPP "Music of the Mass", which came out in 1912, the same year as the first edition of the "English Missal" (or "Missale Anglicanum" as it was published.) It is interesting that the second edition of the "English Missal", in 1923, incorporated some phrases from SSPP translations of the Latin Mass. These translations featured in the "Exeter Books", a series of SSPP publications of the various parts of the Mass from which the first true "Anglican Missal" was compiled in 1921. The "Anglican Missal" was revised in 1939 and then again in 1946.

The particular example illustrated is in a handsome blue leather binding which has clearly been reglarly used at the Altar! As is common, the Canon of the Mass, Prefaces and Communion sections are tabbed (including a typewritten sheet of exhortations interpolated into the latter) and there is wear and repairs to a number of the pages in this section, plus taped repairs to the first ten pages of the votive masses section, and the odd manuscript correction or interpolation throughout, thus indicating which sections were the most used. Structurally, the front hinge is broken and the rear hinge webbing is exposed.

Original altar editions are very rare - at the time of writing only one other original copy is available online, being offered for £525 (a price which may reflect the particularly fine binding of that example. Expect to pay £200-£300.

Photo Gallery - The Anglican Missal

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The English Missal - Spine
The English Missal - Spine

The English Missal / Missale Anglicanum

Arguably the definitive Anglican Missal

The English Missal / Missale Anglicanum

Knott

London

1934 (3rd edition)

Arguably the definitive Anglo-Catholic Missal, and certainly the most-used in the UK, this Knott production is an interesting marriage of BCP and Roman Rite elements, containing the full Prayer Book Rite along with the Mass of the Roman Rite to permit Anglican priests to celebrate the eucharist in a number of forms, ranging from full Book of Common Prayer to full Roman Rite, or any combination of the two. By some way the most widely-used of the various Anglican missals, as Dalby notes in "Anglican Missals and their Canons", although it was designed for Western Rite Anglicans it gained by its comprehensive approach to including all authorised sources, thus appealing to priests of a variety of depths of attachment to the Roman Rite. It ran to five editions, the fifth being the only Anglican missal revised to take account of the 1956 Latin Rite reforms to Holy Week.

this copy is a handsome full leather binding, condition is good-very good, given age and apparent minor use, ffep coming loose from lower edge (see image 5), gift inscription. Tabbed. Includes five ribbons. As with all altar missals, there is a danger that they will have been well used and this can be a consideration in the pricing. Note however that the English Missal has more recognition than most Anglican missals and is also more likely than most to be seen as still useful for liturgical purposes. As such it may fetch a higher price than some of the other missals and altar books, even though less rare. £150 and up, although the availability of a serviceable Canterbury Press reprint may have a depressive effect in time.

Photo Gallery - The English Missal

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The English Missal on Amazon

The English Missal
The English Missal

This is, of course, the adequate Canterbury Press reprint, rather than the original.

 
SSJE Altar Missal
SSJE Altar Missal

The Altar Missal ; edited by a Priest of the Society of St. John the Evangelist [SSJE] with the general approval of the Society

A classic Sarum-influenced Anglican Altar Missal

The Altar Missal ; edited by a Priest of the Society of St. John the Evangelist [SSJE] with the general approval of the Society (e.g. Fr. E.C. Trenholme, also compiler of "The Hours of Prayer from Lauds to Compline")

A.R. Mowbray & Co. Limited

London and Oxford

1936 (1st? edition)

This is an interesting marriage of BCP, Sarum, Roman Rite and South African Rite elements, containing all that one might need from the Prayer Book with extensive Sarum enrichments and some Roman elements, plus the entire South African Rite unaltered.

Contents include 1662 Prayer Book order with minor amendments (plus silent Roman prayers including the Canon as optional additions), an Alternative Order including various additions and deviations plus the "Interim Rite"/"Overall's Canon" (the Prayer Book Canon reconstituted by the reconnection of the Prayer of Oblation to the Prayer of Consecration) and also the SA Rite.

Other enrichments include Sarum and Roman music for all the Rites, rites for the blessing of Holy Water, Dedication of a Church, extensive proper of seasons and saints, votive masses, special collects, the departed, etc.

this particular example has a handsome full leather, banded spine, ruled covers, bevelled edges, all edges gilt. Condition is fairly good, given age and use, but mild rubbing to top and bottom of spine, water/mould marks to covers (see last photograph), ffep ripped in half but present, gift page creased and dog-eared, half- title, title page and contents page decreasingly likewise, rear free endpaper creased, exhortation - interestingly enough - and alternative order tabbed. Includes five ribbons, and a handsome Sarum blue damask cover. Copies of this are rare; expect to pay £100-200 and up, if one can be found.

Photo Gallery - The Altar Missal

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FE Warren The Sarum Missal in English
FE Warren The Sarum Missal in English

Sarum Missal texts and translations

A brief essay

Technically, the Missals described below are outside the scope of this study as they were designed as study aids rather than altar books but given their intrinsic interest and relevance, plus the strong possibility that they were at least some time so used, I have decided to include a quick survey here.

The Sarum Missal, or Missal of St Osmund, represents arguably the apogee of English liturgical development in the pre-Reformation period. Setting out the liturgical customs of the great Cathedral Church of Salisbury, the resultant Sarum Use of the Roman Rite swept England during the century or so preceding the Reformation, being adopted by a great many diocese and potentially providing the basis for a common English Use. Whilst the Reformation and imposition of the Book of Common Prayer naturally scotched this, nonetheless from those who harked back to pre-Reformation sources for a rootedly English Catholic spiritual and liturgical patrimony, it had a strong interest.

The first generally available publication of the Sarum Missal was that produced by Rev. G.H. Forbes/Dickinson in 1861, the Missale ad Usum Insignis Ecclesie Sarum generally known as the Burntisland Missal (after its place of publication) Taken from the printed edition of 1526, collated with other texts, it was entirely in Latin, and was translated into English by A. Harford Pearson in 1868, under the title of The Sarum Missal in English. This version, in a reprinted edition, is available via Amazon. A second edition, The Sarum Missal done into English, A. Harford M.A. B.C.L., second edition revised and enlarged, was issued by The Church Printing Company, London, in 1884. It seems to be a little rarer that the first. Its 615 pages include the general rubrics of the Missal, essays on Low and High Mass, a Kalendar, propers for the seasons and of the saints), prayers and thanksgivings, the ordinary and canon of the mass, and provision for votive masses, masses for the dead, and benedictions, as well as various appendices.

It was then followed in 1911 by a revised translation by F.E. Warren, which I believe drew heavily on Pearson, and was published in two volumes, handsomely bound in scarlet cloth by the famous Alexander Moring Ltd., De La More private press for the Library of Liturgiology and Ecclesiology for English Readers, also under the title The Sarum Missal in English. From this it might be inferred that the latter is slightly better, but the only comparison I have read suggests that the differences are of little significance. It includes an introduction, a calendar, the blessing of water and of salt, the asperges, a blessing of bread, prayers before Mass, the Ordinary & Canon of the Mass, thanksgiving after Mass, Prayers in prostration, prayers after Mass, the proper of seasons, the common of saints, various masses, and glossary, etc.

It too is now available as a modern reprint.

At around the same time as the Warren translation, an abbreviated version of the Missal "done into English and Abridged" was released, under the title The Sarum Missal: Missale Ad Usum Insignis Et Praeclarae Ecclesiae Sarum. It was published anonymously but I associate it with Herbert George Morse, author of the rather charming Sarum-influenced "Notes on Ceremonial according to the Antient English Office Books." This is basic (it lacks the huge numbers of propers and rubrical details in the other books) but sufficient.

Probably the most scholarly edition, again entirely in Latin, is that of Dr J.W. Wickham Legg, produced in 1916, handsomely bound in blue cloth at the Clarendon Press, Oxford. It was taken from a number of early (mostly thirteenth century) manuscripts and thus represents a good indication of the shape of the Sarum Rite at an earlier stage. In this respect it is unlike the earlier Burntisland version (together with the Pearson and Warren English translations which derive from it) which depended on printed Missals for their texts, and thus represent the Sarum Rite at a late stage. This edition contains an interesting preface by Dr Legg, a collated calendar, Missal ([farced kyries?], exorcism of water, salt, proper of the time, [prayers before Mass?], Order of Mass, proper of saints, common of saints, masses for the dead) and Sequences, together with appendices containing some additional Masses, variant calendars and an extensive liturgical index. First printed in 1916, it was reprinted circa 1970.

Of these, the first two English editions are readily available, the Pearson from Wipf & Stock/Kessinger Publications whilst the Warren was an expensive made-to-order reprint (£75+ per volume) but is now coming down in price having been picked up by one or more budget reprinters. Original copies of either command prices of £100-400. The Burntisland Missal is harder to find but turns up occasionally. The abridged Missal was reprinted in the 1980s/90s by Curzon and others but is now out of print. It is fairly readily available through the used book services although patience and/or luck will be required to get a copy for under £30. The Wickham Legg is quite expensive in either edition.

Sarum Missal in English cover
Sarum Missal in English cover

The Sarum Missal in English - Pearson's translation

A rare Sarum Rite liturgical text

The Sarum Missal done into English

Believed first edition

The Sarum Missal done into English, A. Harford Pearson M.A. B.C.L., believed first edition, London, The Church Printing Company, MDCCCLXVII (1867). The rare first edition of this famous work. Pp lv+14+618. A must-have for anyone interested in English liturgy, this mammoth work includes in its 700-odd pages general rubrics, essays on Low and High Mass, Kalendar, propers (of the seasons, and of the saints), prayers and thanksgivings, the ordinary and canon of the mass, votive masses, masses for the dead, benedictions, and appendices.

This particular edition is still in its original black cloth ruled and gilt-embossed binding, with front hinge broken but webbing still intact, tape repairs to spine edges, some loss to top edge of spine and wear to spine and cover edges. The text block is in fair-good condition, front endpaper part removed, ffep-page vi loose, likewise page xix, but all present. In protective mylar jacket.

Photo Gallery - Sarum Missal in English (Pearson) - Second edition

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Sarum Missal in English Warren De La More Press 2 Vol
Sarum Missal in English Warren De La More Press 2 Vol

The Sarum Missal in English - Warren's Translation

The Sarum Missal in English, newly translated by Frederick E. Warren as part of the Library of Liturgiology & Ecclesiology for English Readers, a nice example of this rare and arguably definitive English version of the Latin texts of the Sarum Missal by renowned liturgical scholar F.E. Warren, handsomely bound in scarlet cloth by the famous Alexander Moring Ltd., De La More private press. Usual stamps, plates, etc., front hinge slightly exposed, corners rounded, edges slightly worn, top and bottom of spine likewise spine faded, the odd crease here and there, a little foxing.

Includes introduction, calendar, blessing of water, salt, apserges, blessing of bread, prayers before Mass, Ordinary & Canon of Mass, thanksgiving after Mass, Prayers in prostration, prayers after Mass, proper of seasons, common of saints, various masses, glossary, etc.

Photo Gallery - Sarum Missal in English (Warren)

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The Sarum Missal in English:
The Sarum Missal in English:

This is the well-regarded Wipf and Stock reprint of the Pearson Missal.

 
Notes on Ceremonial - Title Page
Notes on Ceremonial - Title Page

Notes on Ceremonial from the Ancient English Office Books

A Guide to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to the general arrangement of Altar and Choir Services

Notes on Ceremonial from the Ancient English Office Books

A Guide to the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and to the general arrangement of Altar and Choir Services

H.G. Morse

5th Edition, revised

1911

Pickering & Chatto, London

Hardback

pp. 222

This is a rare and informative guide for priests of the Prayerbook Catholic or Anglo-Catholic traditions seeking to enhance the office of the book of common prayer from traditional English liturgical sources.

It is full of Sarum-Rite influence (more so than Dearmer's Parson's Handbook, for instance) and also draws on the liturgical practices of the ancient French diocesan Uses (such as that of Lyons, for example) to provide a complete picture of a Book of Common Prayer Eucharist celebrated with full "English" ceremonial, in Low, High and Missa Cantata (Sung Mass without additional liturgical ministers) forms. As well as traditional prayer forms for the sacred ministers, it contains vestry and altar preparations, directions for processions, detailed instructions for all ministers from candlebearer, thurifer and clerk up through the Orders through Sub-Deacon and Deacon to priest-celebrant for the three types of Mass mentioned above, plus extensive notes on the divine office (Mattins and Evensong), funerals and the commemmoration of the dead, and pages of notes on disputed and antiquarian points on lights, the kalendar, liturgical colours and so on. It is interesting that notwithstanding its Sarum Use sympathies, it mandates the use by the sacred ministers of the biretta! It is also interesting to note that although it gives liturgical colour sequences derived from Sarum, it cautions against adopting these outwith the ancient diocese of Salisbury, noting that even where a cathedral (the mother-church of the diocese) adopted Sarum ceremonial, the diocesan colour sequence did not necessarily follow.

In the fifith edition, the text of the liturgy itself is to be found in the companion "Priest's Ceremonial" (1888-1928), however the Rite can largely be reconstructed from the ceremonial directions, which presuppose a eucharist offered according to BCP order, followed strictly, but generously clothed with Sarum Rite elements. It commences with a preparation along Sarum lines (a form for which is given in the book) and Introit and then moves into the BCP introduction, with the insertion of Sarum blessings of incense and of water (also supplied) at appropriate points. Salutations ("Let us pray" &c) are also provided for at the traditional points, including at the Collect and at the Gospel, which itself is clothed with Sarum ceremonies, including provision for a Gradual. Sarum offertory prayers are also inserted at the appropriate point, as is the Sarum Canon and the prayers following it, save Quam Oblationem, which Morse argues should be omitted on the grounds that it duplicates the Prayerbook's "and grant that we receiving..." The Benedictus qui venit is added for quiet recitation after the Sanctus and an additional Lord's Prayer after the Canon, although the author suggests that this need not be used, as duplicativ e of the Prayerbook provision for it. The Gloria remains in the Prayerbook position and the ablutions are taken after the Blessing. Provision is made for a Last Gospel, to be said returning from the Altar. The third edition, on the other hand, contains the liturgy of the eucharist itself and almost certainly was used at the altar, thus justifying this book's place in this lens.

Definitely a must for any "English Use" collection. Anything in the region of £15 for a sound copy would be a bargain; these seem to be getting scarcer, so expect to pay up to £50.

Issued in six editions, generally as a black cloth hardback, up to Royal Octavo in size.

Photo Gallery - Notes on Ceremonial

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Title PageTable of ContentsCensing of an Altar - FrontispieceSpineCover
Title Page
Title Page
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Censing of an Altar - Frontispiece
Censing of an Altar - Frontispiece
Spine
Spine
Cover
Cover
Altar Book containing the Order of Holy Communion According to the Use of the Church of England with Additions from the Sarum Missal
Altar Book containing the Order of Holy Communion According to the Use of the Church of England with Additions from the Sarum Missal

An Altar Book containing the Order of Holy Communion According to the Use of the Church of England with Additions from the Sarum

The only comprehensively-Sarum influenced altar book

An Altar Book containing the Order of Holy Communion According to the Use of the Church of England with Additions from the Sarum Missal

Rivington's

1914 (2nd edition)

According to Mark Dalby's seminal "Anglican Missals and their Canons", this is the only comprehensive Sarum-influenced Anglican Missal ever produced, being a marriage of all that one might need from the Prayer Book with extensive Sarum enrichments, including:

the entire Gelasian Canon, the Prayer Book calendar with Sarum ranks and octaves, plus additional Sarum feasts (Assumption BVM and St. Thomas of Canterbury) and full propers for all days formerly observed at Sarum (esp. Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year and weekdays in Lent), plus an appendix (very timely!) of ceremonies for Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Candlemas and order of procession on Easter Day.

Ordinary and Canon of the Mass accompanied by full rubrics, private prayers, ritual music and notes on singing the epistle and gospel.

Handsome full leather, banded spine, gilded cross to cover. Condition is fairly good, given age and use, but some splits to spine (see last photograph), some foxing, pages reinforced, canon tabbed. Rare: £150 and more.

Photo Gallery - Altar Book

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Altar Book - SpineAltar Book - CoverAltar Book - Title PageAltar Book - SpineAltar Book - KalendarAltar Book - Proper of the SeasonAltar Book - CanonAltar BookAltar BookAltar Book
Altar Book - Spine
Altar Book - Spine
Altar Book - Cover
Altar Book - Cover
Altar Book - Title Page
Altar Book - Title Page
Altar Book - Spine
Altar Book - Spine
Altar Book - Kalendar
Altar Book - Kalendar
Altar Book - Proper of the Season
Altar Book - Proper of the Season
Altar Book - Canon
Altar Book - Canon
Altar Book
Altar Book
Altar Book
Altar Book
Altar Book
Altar Book
The Priest to the Altar
The Priest to the Altar

"The Priest to the Altar, or Aids to the devout celebration of Holy Communion chiefly after the ancient English Use of Sarum"

Another Sarum-influenced Altar book!

Black Morocco-bound "The Priest to the Altar, or Aids to the devout celebration of Holy Communion chiefly after the ancient English Use of Sarum" by Peter Goldsmith Medd, fourth edition revise and enlarged, Frowde/Longmans, London, 1898. A rare and charming text, embodying Sarum usage in its liturgical texts, hence its inclusion in this lens. (The fact that it is the older works within the scope of this survey which tend to pick up on Sarum usage, whereas the more recent ones focus on Tridentine or contemporary Roman use, is perhaps an interesting indication of the way the liturgical wind was blowing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.)

The example illustrated is in poor condition, but complete and intact. Spine creased, worn at top and bottom with two small tears, corners of covers lightly rubbed. Hinges slightly exposed in spots, slight foxing to endpapers and some darkening throughout. Hinge exposed between pages 124 and 125, pages 124 to 195 loose, hinge exposed again between pages 158 and 159, pages 160-182 inclusive more or less heavily worn, hinge between 192 and 193 exposed. Clearly a heavily used working copy, almost certainly used at the altar.

£15-30 and up. [But note that Philip Lund (see my link above) is currently selling a copy at the knock-down price of £10)

Photo Gallery - The Priest to the Altar

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The Priest to the Altar - Canon of the Mass
The Priest to the Altar - Canon of the Mass
The Priest to the Altar - Canon of the Mass

Orby Shipley's "The Ritual of the Altar"

A combined altar book and liturgical manual

The Ritual of the Altar

Rev. Orby Shipley

A sound copy, with taped hinges, of this classic Anglo-Catholic altar Missal and Liturgical manual composed by the Rev. Orby Shipley. Includes preparation for and thanksgiving after Mass, the ordinary and canon, Our Father and Gloria in Excelsis noted, collects, epistles and gospels for various days and occasions and general rubrics on the celebration of the Mass. A rare work, it is of considerable interest that this Altar Book was in regular use at the legendary Anglo-Catholic fane St. Peter's, London Docks, where a copy (described as "well used"!) still existed as late as 2009, which was used to sing the funeral Mass of the - again legendary Anglican Priest Fr. Charles Fuge Lowder, missionary priest, founder of the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC), and the founder of the church.

One example in my posession was evidently a review copy and had the following letter from the author laid-in:

'Jan 24.

My dear Sir,

I have desired the publisher to send you a copy of a Book entitled The Ritual of the Altar, wh I beg you to accept.

The Book forms a Directory to the highest development of Ritual of wh our own Office is capable under existing conditions. It has been prepared with much labour & [trouble?] & has been revised by the chief authorities on Ritual amongst us. It may be affirmed that none who care to follow the authority wh we can accept wd wish to develop any further in any essential.

I am naturally anxious that the book shd be reviewed in the Times [as?] The Church & The World [&c?] - & such publicity I hope for the same again. I venture to ask if you are able & willing to exercise your influence to this end. If you are, I shall be [very?] grateful to you, & I doubt not that you wd further provide that some one who understands the subject, wh is no easy one, shd review it - perhaps yourself.

I remain, yours very faithfully, Orby Shipley.'

Photo Gallery - The Ritual of the Altar, Orby Shipley

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The English Liturgy - Title Page
The English Liturgy - Title Page

The English Liturgy - Percy Dearmer's Magnus Opus

The classic Prayerbook Catholic altar book

Edited by Percy Dearmer, sumptuously printed in red and black by Rivington's, and lovingly illustrated by Lawrence Houseman, The English Liturgy was an adamantly Prayer Book Catholic work , containing the Prayer Book communion service only, unaltered, with only such additional matter (collects etc.) as had Anglican sanction, including authorised materials such as additional collects from diocesan and provincial sources. Its great strength was therefore in the presentation of the BCP Rite in a most worthy form rivalling the best missals, and in bringing together the permissible additional collects and so forth in one convenient format.

Photo Gallery - The English Liturgy, Dearmer

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The Holy Communion and Other Services

The classic traditional Anglican Altar Book

Not really a Missal in the strict sense, but really something which any collector of Anglican Missals should have, the Book of Common Prayer Altar Book, in small Altar or large pew size, represents the classical mainstream Anglican liturgical provision, in a format which the early Tractarians would have been entirely familiar and confortable with. Such books provide fairly comprehensive coverage of Anglican (non-Choir) services including the Order of Holy Communion, orders for Confirmation, Solemnisation of Matrimony, and the Churching of Women, plus the Accession Service.

This particular example is of black grained leather, in a solid ruled binding with spine bands, and features a ribbon, gilt edges, together with attractive gold ruled and marbled endpapers, and is rubricated throughout. It is rather careworn, being somewhat cocked and spine separated from front cover for about 2" at top edge. There is also some bleeding from red gilt edges onto paper, and the text block is separated at the Communion Service, with clear signs of use (edges grubbied) here and at the Solemnisation of Matrimony. The references to King George in the Communion Service have been hand altered to Elizabeth in black ink/red indelible, producing some offsetting. There is also a preserved spider stuck between the pages at the Third Sunday in Advent!

Copies are available in a variety of formats and conditions, those with better quality bindings, in good condition, or with interpolations of an Anglo-Catholic nature being more valuable. Expect to pay £20 and up.

Photo Gallery - The Holy Communion and Other Services (BCP) - A traditional Anglican Altar book

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BCP with Addition and Deviations Proposed in 1928
BCP with Addition and Deviations Proposed in 1928

The Book of Common Prayer with the Additions and Deviations Proposed in 1928

Another tradtional Anglican Altar Book

The Book of Common Prayer [of 1662] with the additions and deviations proposed in 1928.

Oxford University Press, Amen House, London EC4.

Leatherbound, all edges gilt.

pp.699

Cover worn etc but serviceable, text block sound. No date but post 1958.

This is the version of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer which the Church of England developed in response to the report of the 1906 Royal Commission on Public Worship and sundry other indications (including the experience of forces chaplains in the First World War) that the 1662 BCP was no longer sufficient to support the worshipping life of the Church of England. After an extensive revision process, the resultant draft book, "the deposited book", was thrown out twice by the House of Commons (even after amendments made in a Protestant direction to satisfy some objections to the content of the revised book) and thus had no official status, never receiving Royal Assent. However, the bishops indicated that they would not regard use of the book "in the present emergency" as incompatible with loyalty to the Church of England and so it gradually made its way into pew and chancel and stayed there until the liturgical revisions of the 1960s began.

In retrospect it actually seems rather a moderate book, especially as the core of the 1662 book is still there, whole and intact, the additions and deviations being formed around it.

It includes the usual contents, calendar, daily offices, litany, collects epistles and gospels, orders for baptism and the Holy Communion, the pastoral offices, services of ordination, the Coverdale psalter, Articles of Religion, catechism, etc., and the Accession Day service for King George the Fifth (with amendments at the end to bring it up to date for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II). Included with these, however, are alternative services for morning and evening prayer, the Holy Communion, public baptism, confirmation, matrimony, and communion of the sick, some of which found acceptance once the bishops allowed the book for permissive use, and some of which did not. The inclusion of offices for Prime and Compline is also a particular feature, which bring the book closer to the perceived completeness of the western office. The prefatory material is interesting, including not only the usual prefaces (of the service of the church, concerning ceremonies) and the Act of Uniformity, but also a new 1928 preface plus 1871 and 1922 (as revised in 1928) lectionary tables, and the 1928 alternative calendar. In terms of size, this particular edition would serve as a large pew or choir-book, or as a suitable altar book for a chapel altar or travelling priest.

Photo Gallery - 1928 BCP

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1928 BCP - Spine1928 BCP - title page1928 BCP - Baptism1928 BCP - cover
1928 BCP - Spine
1928 BCP - Spine
1928 BCP - title page
1928 BCP - title page
1928 BCP - Baptism
1928 BCP - Baptism
1928 BCP - cover
1928 BCP - cover

Amazon - The Book of Common Prayer with the Additions and Deviations at Proposed in 1928

Video - Sarum Use Mass

"A faithful attempt to portray what Candlemas may have looked like sometime in the early 16th century in an English parish."

Any comments are welcomed, including questions and descriptions of any particularly interesting finds!

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    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      What an astonishing resource! Although familiar with them, I don't have sufficient knowledge of missals to be able to contribute any sort of worthy comment , but I did just want to let you know I've found this all quite fascinating. Will be back to look more closely at all the photographs.

    • ManipledMutineer profile image
      Author

      ManipledMutineer 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Many thanks for your kind comment and thank you in anticipation of a return visit!

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      ldysly 3 years ago

      there is a 5th edition that is for sale on the Etsy.com website. Just search The English Missal and you should find it.

    • ManipledMutineer profile image
      Author

      ManipledMutineer 3 years ago

      @ldysly: Very many thanks, an excekkent spot*

      Very many thanks, an excellent find!

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