My Dream Missal

We live in age of portable electronic devices. I can pray the Rosary on my tablet, access catechisms and countless devotions; but as I write, the 1962 Missal hasn't entered the electronic age.

This is even more striking, as the cost of a well-made 1962 Missal is certainly some obstacle to its diffusion, and the particular requirements of the paper – which must be extremely thin, but very robust – will take care these never become cheap articles.

Now let us imagine I sit in my pew, three minutes before the start of the (Traditional) Mass. What is today? Trinity Sunday. I click on the interactive, easy to access index or table of content and the mass of the day appears in front of my eyes.

I do not have to flip back and forth, as the app has arranged everything for me. I can choose whether I want my text in Latin only or with another language (English, French, & Co.) at the side. I decide whether to keep the tablet horizontal or vertical. I can even pick the type font of my choice, and the background colour. I can have a bigger text if I so prefer. I am not talking of amazing features here, merely of those I already have on other Catholic apps.

This would require extensive works of course, but the texts are all there already, and the usual publishing suspects have all prepared as I write. Such a work could be easily sold for a price that may appear high for a tablet app, but would strike one as cheap if compared with the original book; this, without considering the added advantage of tablet portability and, important, readability particularly for the elderly; plus, one would basically have his missal always with one.

The improvements and enrichments are also easy to imagine: hundreds of reproductions of sacred paintings could be inserted at the appropriate place (say: at the beginning of the Trinity Sunday Mass, a relevant masterpiece). Latin-Vernacular dictionaries could be added, & Co. Perhaps as optional modules, in collaboration with specialised publishing houses.

I can't imagine that a market would not be there, as a healthy market is already there for the expensive and less practical book product, with several choices already given to the buyer.

We shall see. The world of the tablet will not be ignored forever. When such a product come – properly made, of course – your humble correspondent will fork the money as an early adopter.



Posted on May 28, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ah, that’s a good dream! I would buy one too.

  2. I have a love of real books, the real thing to hold in my hands, to carry around, to collect. But what you dream of may come to pass someday. Just not for me. I’m happily un-tech, with my cell phone in the purse that I have only for emergencies and my laptop that I use only for email and reading great blogs like yours. Heck, I don’t even have cable TV 🙂

    • Yes, I hear what you say. I love the physical, tactile, “civilisation” aspect of a book.

      But after experiencing the stunning quality and practicality of electronic books, I buy them whenever I can.

      If you had a Missal on a tablet, the astonishing clarity and beauty of the text would let you fall in love instantly. I mean, instantly. Only the altar version @ several hundred pounds could, if anything, compete.

      I have a 1962 Missal, paid a good deal of money many years ago. Excellent quality for a Missal. But truly, there is no comparison with what I would have on a tablet. Confronted back to back for beauty and easiness of reading, my paper missal would be absolutely nowhere.

      I can read an electronic book on Kindle, or even on a tablet, for hours without the minimal eye fatigue. Never happened in my life before, not even with excellent print quality.

      It truly is a different experience.


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