The Parish Ritual – UPDATED 2/27/19

UPDATE 2/27/19: Since posting the following review on 2/24, someone really close to the project/publisher called me to discuss some of the concerns I raised. He gave some helpful background on all the (heavy) work that went into compiling this edition and how some of the variances may, in fact, be due to typographical errors that were in the original books.

This possibility rings true, because I have seen typos in the old liturgical books also. For example, in the Rite of Baptism in the New Sanctuary Manual — a fine and very useful volume — it says “…et ad locum Spíritui Sancto…” where it should say “da locum”. And I have gotten tripped-up on that several times while celebrating that rite! There are certainly mistakes in some of the old editions, and these can get carried forward without critical analysis of sources.

This person, who again, has been intimately involved with the project, did say that there is a possibility an Errata sheet could be issued, following upon feedback like mine and that of Fr. Z and any others who submit corrections. That is a very traditional thing to do. If a priest could download that Errata sheet from the publisher’s web site, he could then make the small corrections needed throughout the book and so ensure that he is praying all the prayers correctly. This will be especially helpful to those priests whose Latin may not be so strong (and so may not pick up on errors) or who simply don’t have great familiarity with these older prayers but nevertheless wish to use them.

So I am grateful to those involved for contacting me and for the good will with which they are approaching this important project, including the humble reception of feedback. I am also happy to post this clarification and follow-up.

I will add one more concern, that escaped my attention when I published the review below: I am not sure all of the blessings that were reserved have been marked correctly. For example, the Blessing of a Rosary indicates in the rubrics that it is reserved to Dominicans and to those who have received an indult to use it. For the Blessing and Imposition of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, however, there is no indication about any reservation to the Carmelites (which is indicated in my Rituale Romanum). For the various Blessings of Sacred Furnishings it says that they are reserved to Bishops and various others, including pastors and rectors of churches, but in my Rituale Romanum (Nova et Vetera reprint) it says that they are reserved to “Bishops, other Ordinaries, and to other Priests Equipped with a Special Faculty” — it doesn’t mention pastors/rectors et al.

This possible confusion is symptomatic of some of the areas where there is, in fact, a lack of clarity concerning the old books. The instruction Universae Ecclesiae is mostly clear on the fact that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was a “reset” back to 1962 and whatever was in force then, and not subsequent legislation, and there had been some indults given after 1962 for more priests to do more things — for example, for all priests to confer those blessings which had previously been restricted to religious orders.

I will admit that it could be that everything presented in terms of the reserved blessings is correct in this new volume, but I simply want to raise the concern here to encourage discussion on it so that clarity may emerge for a greater number. A concerned pastor who wants to do things correctly may be frustrated to find things one way in one 1962 edition and another way in another contemporaneous edition: but if there is a reasonable explanation for the difference (and an indication of what he may conclude from the differences), then that is fine.

The Parish Ritual is an important volume that is much-needed. I welcome its publication and offer the above and following feedback in the spirit of charity, hoping that it may contribute in some small way to subsequent improvements to the volume. An Errata sheet would be most welcome, to correct those things that I and others have noted that are actually erroneous. I thank the gentleman who followed-up with me and only regret that I do not have more time to give the book a more thorough review.


Back in November, I received an advertisement from the publisher Preserving Christian Publications for a new “Parish Ritual” that they would be printing, based on an old edition. At $76 it was a bit of a stretch, but most priests who are familiar with the older prayers will know that these books are extremely useful. There were different versions that circulated in the 20th century — various printings of the Collectio Rituum, smaller editions like the Priest’s New Pocket Ritual, the English Ritual, and others. This new Parish Ritual was to be a faithful printing of the prayers that were authorized for use in 1962 — thus, something priests could use under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.

The minute it was released, I ordered a copy.

Overall, I share Fr. Z’s judgments on itBut I do have a few things to add:

Fr. Z mentioned some of the typos in it. I have since found some of my own.

For example, in the prayers for blessing Holy Water (found in their proper section of the book and also reproduced inside the back cover for quick access), instead of the word “phantasma”, it has it misspelled as “phantasia”. This is not a fatal error, and priests who are familiar with the prayer will probably pick up on it and be able to correct it.

At the conclusion of the final prayer for blessing Holy Water (the “Deus, invictae virtutis auctor” prayer), it does not have the proper conclusion — it only has “Per Christum Dominum nostrum”, instead of the complete, “Per Dominum nostrum Iesus Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum”. Again, this error is found in both places where the holy water prayers are printed in the book.

I found one or two other small things in the holy water prayers — can’t remember them at present. Nothing too serious, just frustrating if you know the prayers correctly.

Turning to the section on Baptism, there are some formatting errors. For example, the “Ephphetha” prayer has to be done in Latin, so, following the general style sheet of the book, it should span the two page columns (which otherwise have English on one side an Latin on the other). But it has Latin in the left column… and Latin in the right column! Again, not a fatal problem; a formatting error in this case that doesn’t really affect the substance of things. But regrettable nonetheless.

I saw a couple of other smallish typos. Again, nothing that I saw so far looks “fatal”, but it’s all regrettable. As Fr. Z said, hopefully they’ll fix these in a future printing.

I might also take exception to some aspects of some of the Latin translations. In any case, these (that I would take exception with) are provided for the understanding of the priest and accurately enough convey the sense.

Overall, this is a useful book — the type of book that I have been wishing for in a new edition for some time. I suppose that, especially nowadays, one takes the risk of typos and other editorial issues with buying a first edition.

You can buy it through Amazon, here. This could make a nice gift for your priest!

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