Looking for a Liber Usualis...
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    I decided it’s time to finally get a Liber Usalis. I saw a brand-new French reprint of the 1961 edition in the French bookstore in Rome. It was cheap, about 60€. Does anyone happen to know where I might acquire it or another recent reprint?

    But...because older items are worth it for a multitude of reasons, I am also looking at some used French editions from the 1930s and 1940s. The earlier one (1936) looks to be in better shape. Opinions on the condition are welcome, and info on the content differences between those editions as well as 1961...


  • Reprints are available from the St Bonaventure Press.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    I thought they were a bit expensive. Not picking it up in Rome was a mega-stupid move.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    Holy Week was reformed around 1955; the Assumption Mass was replaced in 1950. St Joseph was added to the Canon in -- when: 1958? 1960?

    The reprints from St Bonaventure Press are copyright 1952.

    Looking around the shelves, it seems I have a 1947 edition and a 1956; I should probably sell them.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    St. Joseph in the Canon was 1962, but the second revision of that year. There is even debate as to what constitutes the editio typica for the purposes of Summorum Pontificum, because people have become so opposed to this change!

    St. Joseph the Worker with his awful propers was also a change from 1955, displacing Pip and Jim.

    Did Solesmes have propers for Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces? I am not sure when that Mass was added.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    Mary, Mediatrix was not universal. Some country editions may have had the observance.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    I have a couple I think in the 1930s and the 1950s.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,722
    Firstly do you need an L.U. ?
    1. Are you singing Sunday and feast day Masses?
    2. Are you singing weekday Mass?
    3. Are you going to be singing Sunday and Feast day Lauds / Vespers?
    4. Are you singing daily office (Not Matins)

    If only 1 you will only need a Liber brevior...
    If 1 and 2 you will need a Graduale as the L.U. does not have all weekday Masses i.e. it does not have the Lenten weekday Ferial Masses.
    If 1 and 3 you will need an L.U.
    If 4 you really need an Antiphonale

    (more info can be found here, http://www.gregorianbooks.com/gregorian_books.html)

    The L.U. printed before c. 1912, will only be useful for point 1 above and will be missing one or two Sundays, and the feasts mentioned in above posts and will not be very helpful for Palm Sunday and the Easter Vigil.

    The L.U. printed from c. 1920 to 1950 will be useful for point 1, most weekdays out of Lent, and 3 (as long as you check the new rubrics and calendar changes from say the scan of the 1961 ed. on the CMAA). It will have the problems of Holy Week, it will have the new Mass of the Sacred Heart, and possibly an insert at the back for the new Mass of the Assumption.

    The editions from 1955 onwards, will be the most useful if you are doing the new Holy Week etc. and Vespers / Lauds according to the 1962 calendar. N.B. some editions have missing pages and incomplete corrections to conform with the 1962.

    Also there seem to be 3 types of L.U., Some have Latin Rubrics / instructions others have French or English

    The advantage of the reprint of the c.1950 by St Bonaventure press is it has the Proper feasts for the U.S.A.
    Also some older editions have been had inserts bound in with the new Masses for the Sacred Heart, Assumption and Joe the worker. It is worth checking the last few pages!

    I have the following ed. of the L.U., 1910, 1934, 1950, 1952, 1957 and 1962. plus two Graduale from 1924.

    Did Solesmes have propers for Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces

    Yes, I have them in at least one book.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,187
    The Pariossien Romain: no. 800 for before 1912. I use that for Tournemire research.
    801 for later.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • The reprint of the Liber Usualis you saw in the French bookstore in Rome may be the 2010 reprint of the French version of the English Mass and Vespers titled Missel Vespéral Grégorien. Here's a link to the description on Gregorian Books which includes a number of links on the right hand side to sellers who have it for under €60.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    Arthur, yup, I bet you are correct.

    Tomjaw, yes, the plan is to work in Vespers.
    Does the L.B. also require the Graduale for (2)?

    At any rate, the older Liber is for historical purposes, display, and, uh, for when unreformed liturgies are the order of the day...
  • The Liber Brevior is not good for weekday Masses as it is missing proper masses for third class feasts, Ember days, the octaves of Easter and Pentecost, and ferias in Lent. Also, since it was originally published in 1954, it has the pre-1955 Holy Week, although for some that may be a feature rather than a flaw.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    So, that is the same situation as the L.U.? I’ll double check, but I am fairly certain we can get a 1961 Graduale (or at least the music). We like to turn Saturday Low Masses into simple Sung Masses...

    I am not bothered by the Holy Week chants being the pre-Pian edition.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    The LU has more of the music for weekday Masses than the LB.

    We regularly celebrate Wed, Fri, and Sat (and 2nd class feast days) Sung Masses and only rarely have to turn to the G.R., but yes, the LU is not complete for that purpose. You'd have to turn to the GR much more frequently with the LB (there are many third class feasts.)
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    You can buy 1961 Graduale reprints from CMAA, or download the PDF from our site.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • sopranosoprano
    Posts: 2
    There's always the iOS app Liber Pro, as well, if you have an iOS device. Less expensive than the book, and a lot lighter too. :-)
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    If I had an iPad, I’d consider it. Or even singing from the PDF on any tablet...
  • sopranosoprano
    Posts: 2
    Liber Pro also works on the iPod Touch and iPhone (just in case you thought it would only work on the iPad). It is easier to read the chants on the iPad, but it is very possible to use from an iPod or iPhone (there's a gentleman in our men's chant schola who has it on his iPhone and he uses it almost every Sunday).
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,023
    No, I figured that, but it is a size issue for me.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    The edition from St. Bonaventure Press that I saw was printed on inferior paper; the ink from the reverse side of the page showed through a bit. The old editions of the Liber were produced in some quantity, because every seminarian had one; this allowed them to master the question of the paper--opaque but thin. the reprint is thicker, but not as opaque. I would look online for a near mint copy of the old edition (probably 1955 or later).