There's no need to post a picture, because there have been so many on the net, but today our new CTS Missals have arrived; a full one and a study edition for St Peter's, Shoreham, and a chapel edition for Christ the King, Steyning (because the altar is very small).
The doorbell rang for a delivery, and I hoped that it would be the missals, but the deliveryman (a young Pole) seemed to be making very light of the (huge) box. So I knew it wasn't them.
But it was: the vast box contained the three books nestling under a pile of air-filled plastic bags; the books themselves are much lighter than I imagined; though the full edition is quite substantial in size fatness-wise, its pages are actually only A4. It is a handsome book, smelling of leather, and with six very nicely-made ribbons in different colours. No Latin section, which surprised me, since our former altar Missal had the Missale Parvum bound in with it. The much-famed plates are very nice, though I was a bit disappointed that the gold leaf original doesn't look very gold in its reproduction.
The edges of the missal are nicely gilded, though, and the book comes with a cloth wrapper to keep it in good condition. There are page tabs for the whole Liturgy of the Eucharist, though some overlying each other which makes them a bit difficult to handle. And, more seriously, the tabs are attached to the wrong pages; normally they are affixed to the page before the one you turn to, so that you are turning actually onto the right page. These are affixed on the page itself, so that, turning over, one has to turn a page back to get to the right one. That is a mistake and should be rectified in later editions.
However, this is certainly the most handsome new liturgical book in English I have seen so far in my life. Not that that is saying much, but this is a very nice book and a great improvement on its predecessor.
What is particularly striking is that the Gospel for the Palm Sunday procession (which appears in the Missal, of course) is only in the RSV version. Let us hope that this presages the adoption of some version of the RSV (sensitively updated, perhaps, 'you', rather than 'thou') for the general lectionary down the line.
The chapel edition of the Missal is smaller, not bound with leather, and the pages edged with pink rather than gold. There is no book-cosy, either, and page tabs only for the first pages of the Eucharistic Prayers (and also on the wrong pages). Other than that, the edition is very nice too.
The study edition, bound in plastic, and printed on white, rather than cream, paper, isn't as handsome as the others, but is still very nice. I will use it as a 'book at the chair', and hope that its present propensity to close as soon as I open it and set it down, will ease with use.
The CTS is to be congratulated. Producing books of this quality cannot have been easy in our present set-up. Even the individual boxes the books came in are handsome, and shall be recycled for some other good purpose.