DIY Missal and Hymnal

Photo from the Campion MissalCorpus Christi watershed have unveiled plans for their new St Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Extraordinary form of the Mass.

It is a great idea – an all in one pew book with everything you need to join in all the parts of the Latin Mass that people are supposed to – singing the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. Yes, you guys in the pews are supposed to be singing along. As well as that it has all the propers so people can follow all the parts that change from day to day – praying with understanding!

After all that the hymns section is like icing on the cake.

What a great idea! In fact, such a great idea that here’s one I prepared earlier. I call it Congregavit nos in unum, or the Draft Traditional Hymnbook. Okay, it’s not quite so swish, it has no colour pages, the kyriale is abridged (leaving out Masses 3,5,6,14,15), and instead of the entire propers it only has the epistle and gospel of each Sunday and Feast Day. But it’s cheaper and the source code is available so it can be customised to suit your local circumstances.

But with all that, the Campion Missal still comes out ahead. With the advantage of a large scale project you can have finer paper in a hard cover to last longer. They are also working to keep the price down to make it affordable for parishes to purchase in quantity.

But the Campion Missal is not ready yet. You can get a copy of my pale imitation Congregavit nos in unum via Lulu right now. Printed and shipped from a country near you (Australian orders are processed in Melbourne). As I write this it is still at cost price, I don’t get a cut yet until I’m sure it’s all fine and hopefully it will one day have an Imprimatur and be all finished and stuff. It’s still a useful book as is, and you can check this all out by downloading the pdf version from the sourceforge page.

DIY book binding

stack of printed paperOne way to bind a book so it can open flattish and look passably traditional. To start with take a stack of paper. Run it through the printer if you like printed books, or leave blank if you like books to write or draw in. Thick books are a great way to learn how to clear paper jams on your printer. Good printers have all sorts of levers and things to open out to access almost any part of the pathway the paper travels. Make sure you get all the pieces if the page is ripped.

Guillotine Next you might like to trim your paper to size. You can use a ruler and cutting blade but after a while you might find yourself eyeing off a guillotine or paper stack cutter. The one in the picture is said to cut through 40mm of paper which is roughly 400 pages 80gsm or 500 70gsm. Also, as an aside, Kmart sells cheap 70gsm paper. It does tend to jam, about once every 200 pages, but it is thinner and less stridently white – more grey with tiny flecks. Xerox sells a better quality 75gsm paper that doesn’t jam so much and a local paper merchant by the name of Vilensky can get a4 60gsm paper intended for those carbon paper pads, but that costs more and tends to curl alarmingly when coming through the printer – but it didn’t jam.

sliced thumbnailA word of warning about Guillotines. They generally come with a perspex guard around the cutting area which makes it very difficult to see where the blade is going to cut the paper. The guard can come off easily and makes it simpler to align the paper – BUT IT IS THERE FOR A REASON. Even with the blade stationary in the air just hitting your finger against it can cause a significant cut. This picture shows the nice swoosh sort of pattern which is where the blade caught my thumbnail while I was lining up the paper. This is two days after the injury, but it did bleed at the time and was quite painful. If it can cut through the nail so easily I don’t want to try it with skin. So the perspex cover is back on.

book pressOnce the paper is trimmed you can add folded endpapers and put it in some sort of clamp or book press ready to glue. I’m using red paper for the endpapers. Here I’ve used two types of PVA glue – Selley’s Aquadhere and a cheap EC brand PVA glue. The Aquadhere is very strong and dries very clear. The cheap stuff is more dilute and ends up more flexible. The cloth is a seaside print, probably poly-cotton. You shouldn’t be able to see the print once the book is all put together. There are great videos on this step at Temper Productions. Those instructions say to “fan glue” by bending over the pages to fan the edges out a bit and get more glue on the edges. It didn’t seem to be so good for these books – simpler just to brush on plenty of glue and it makes enough contact with the edges of the pages. Only time will tell.

I leave the book in the press for a few hours to let the glue dry before taking it out. The glue is supposed wait 12 hours before stressing the join so do try to resist the temptation to open up the book and see how the spine bends. It should be better to wait a day or so before opening the book right up.

materials for the caseNext its time to make the case or cover for the book. Here I have two boards made of some self-adhesive cardboard that my husband happens to have. It is a bit thinner than the 1.8mm box board I was using before. Theoretically the self adhesive-ness makes it easier, but it has its own drawbacks and I’d say you don’t miss much if you can’t find it.

The board is cut to the size of the book. About the same width as the book but a little taller. The board will sit just a little in from the spine so should stick out over the other three edges.

The spine piece is a slice of 80gsm paper. Any writing on it does tend to show through the spine so its best if at least one side is blank. Here I should have the blank side of the spine and the adhesive side of the cardboard face up.

Spine tapedThis is 72mm Tenacious cloth tape. I got it from Qualtape. It’s the matt variety which seems more suited for laying out lines on wooden floors where you want to be able to peel it off again without leaving any residue behind. They do have a semi-gloss and a gloss version which sound like they would stick better. That said it sticks very well to the self-adhesive board and the uncoated paper and to itself. The tricky bit here is to get the tape aligned right first try. It won’t peel off the board once its down (unless I’ve forgotten to peel the backing off the self-adhesive board, in which case it comes off very easily). This is where regular box board might be better – but you use what you have. The tape is stuck down another 14cm or so below the book to make triangles to bind the corners. A book with just the spine covered in cloth or leather is called “Quarter Bound”. With the corners as well it is called “Half Bound”.

trimming cornersSo once the triangles are stuck on the corners then the brown paper is lined up with the edge of the spine tape to cover the spine tape by 2mm or so. This is where the self-adhesive boards help because you can smooth down the paper straight onto the boards without having to apply glue first. If you have regular box board though you might brush PVA glue over the boards first. Then time to trim the brown paper back from the corners so the red tape shows through. Slip an offcut of cardboard between the red tape and the brown paper and lay the ruler along the place to cut – again about 2mm over the edge of the tape, but its hard to tell so there’s a bit of trial and error here.

boards all coveredThis is how it should look. Well, it should look a little straighter, but it looks a lot neater once the edges are folded in.

Next, turn the whole thing over.

trimming tape cornersNext you trim the corners of the tape. You don’t cut right to the corner of the board, but leave a little distance so the tape can cover the corner. This is another trial and error bit. This also leaves you with four little triangles of cloth tape. If you stick these on the side of the table, someone is sure to come along and find a use for them – or maybe that’s just where you have preschoolers around. They do come in handy for some things. I should have got a photo of my youngest with red triangles on each of his fingers. Hmmm, I wonder where they ended up…

folding cornersYou fold over one edge of the corner then sort of squish in the corner a bit – something like an origami squash fold. Then fold up the other edge and it should look something like what you see in regular cloth-bound books.

Corner doneLike that.

almost thereNow we’re almost there. Fold over the brown paper too and wrap it around the text block – that’s the stack of paper with the cloth stuck to one side.

glueOpen out one side and slap lots of glue around. Glue down the brown paper edges while you’re at it. The inside of the cover should be all gluey to a few mm of the edges. You can slip in a bit of glue to finish gluing the spine cloth to the endpapers. The backing from the self-adhesive sheets comes in handy to slip in the folded endpaper to stop to much moisture and/or glue getting into the text block. In the photo I’m using some rejected A4 sheets folded in half.

ShutShut the book, carefully aligning the cover. Then turn the book over and repeat on the other side.

Stack up the books to dry. A regular book would be put in a book press to get it good and flat and make the little grooves along the side of the spine. I just put them under a stack of books, maybe putting some extra paper in there to help soak up any pesky moisture.

front picturesChoose a picture to mark which side is front. Hardback books are often stamped with their name or some other design. A punch is made good and hot and pressed down onto some special gold foil to leave a gold design impressed into the cover. In the absence of gold foil or hot punches, I’m cutting pictures out of old calendars and magazines. The Christmas pictures were used to make Christmas Cards, but there are lots of other pictures left for applications like this.

Next I glue the pretty picture on the front with regular stick glue and cover with some sort of clear self-adhesive covering – PVC or polypropylene – A generous benefactress gave me a few rolls of each. The PVC is more matt and the polypropylene is clearer. I think the PVC is a little quieter when opening the books, but both are pretty good if covered tightly. Except for a cheap and nasty roll from the junk shop – life’s to short to buy cheap self-adhesive book covering. I’d half like to try out RAECO‘s range of library book coverings, but there’s heaps here to use up first.

You could glue ribbons into the spine to act as bookmarks. They usually go in between the spine cloth and the headbands – which I don’t have. Some missals have removable tags with ribbons attached that are inserted into the spine. Right now I don’t have much ribbon so I’m putting in holy cards as markers.

Here are the finished books.finished Some pages got a little stuck to gether at the edges from stray drops of glue. The PVA really soaks into the paper – not much chance of pages falling out. A blade is handy to separate pages.

Now to enjoy having new hymnbooks! What shall we sing this Sunday?

Book binding

Ah, back to the actual physical side of making books – paper, glue, bits of cloth.
My book binding equipment
Here we have my fancy bindery. The wooden book press came mostly from Hamish MacDonald’s bookbinding blog. It was my biggest woodworking project ever. Then I asked my husband how to do some modifications and he took it and smartened it up a lot.

The other inspirational website was Temper Productions book binding howtos. Although I’m not completely sold on the fan glue technique, his in-depth analysis of what goes on in the spine of a book is great stuff.

His idea is, instead of making the spine stronger and stronger, make it more flexible instead. The strong stitched spine made sense in the days when they used vellum, but thread bites through paper and today we have different glues available. His binding uses PVA glue and some cotton cloth – not loosely woven cheesecloth as some binders use, but more tightly woven.

A hand bound hard back book with flexible spine.Here you can see one of my home binding attempts. It’s my Draft Hymnal. See how the spine bends so the pages can open out flattish? The fan gluing seems to get more glue into the gaps between the pages which tends to tear the pages a little when you go to open it out flat. I think Mr Jermann of Temper Productions was using different paper and glue so that might explain the different results. Mr Macdonald’s technique of using folded 4 page signatures glued together without fanning them out from side to side seems to work better on photocopy paper.

Perfect bound book from LuluIn the picture to the right the spine is rigid. This is a perfect bound paperback from Lulu (another Draft Hymnal). Mr Macdonald’s paperbacks might have a similar look as he finishes the spines with hotglue, similar to POD publishers like Lulu. The hotglue forms a hard spine that joins the case to the spine. The hotglue dries quickly so makes book production much quicker. It is quite strong unless people force the book open flat.

It is amazing how many people apparently oblivious to the structural integrity of the book will try to open it flat. Watch next time. Especially when they are singing something under duress. All that pent up energy seems to go into that little area at the base of the valley of the open page. Watch for the little rips in the cover there and the way the book will open to that page again. Such books need extra protection from a plastic adhesive sort of covering.

A few home bound booksSo after having made a few books, here is the question. Shall I endeavour to make 200 copies of the Draft Hymnal at home? Or shall I outsource this work to a place like SOS Printing and pick up the ready bound books in boxes? Is the celloglazing, offered by the binders, enough protection for the books, or will I need to apply a plastic adhesive covering to each book?

In the meantime, I have a new craft, just in time for making Christmas presents.

Whether to capitalize relative pronouns referring to God?

Note: relative pronouns are “who”, “whom” and “whose”.

For example, some books would write “Lamb of God Who takest away the sins…” or “Our Father Who art in heaven”.

As far as I can tell, it is a matter of style. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville Minnesota has a style guide that puts pronouns referring to God in lowercase except in the case of quoting sources that do otherwise.

My interest comes from my current pet project Draft Traditional Hymnbook and earlier work on the Christus Rex Pilgrim’s Primer back in 2004. So far I have been inconsistent and the time has come to make a stand one way or another. So first I pull out all the books I can lay my hands on (in person or via google books).

Missals/books that DO capitalise relative pronouns referring to God.
Missals/books that DON’T capitalize relative pronouns referring to God.
1868 Sarum missal in English (Thee/Thy) (funnily enough it has “Our Father which art in heaven and Lamb of God that takest…”)
1961 St Joseph’s Daily Missal (but has You/Your)
same as 1966 St Joseph Sunday Missal
1962 Official Handbook of the Legion of Mary (Thee/Thou)
2004 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, Angelus Press
2008 The Parish Book of Chant CMAA (Thee/Thy)
1815 The Roman Missal (thee/thy)
1848 The Missal for the use of the Laity (thee/thy)
1914 The Roman Missal (R&T Washbourne Ltd.) (also does Thee/Thy)
1959 St Joseph’s Children’s Missal (2000 edition, Neumann Press) (You/Your)
1962 St Andrew’s Daily Missal (You/Your)
2000 Pilgrim Prayers – Official Vatican Prayerbook (you/your)
2007 Daily Missal 1962 Baronius Press (Thee/Thy)
2008 The Order of Mass Michael Sternbeck (you/your)

1958 St John’s Sunday Missal. A G Younes, Melbourne (Australia!) but made in Belgium – “who” in the ordinary, “Who” in the propers
1959 My Catholic Companion, Good Will Publishers – “Who” in the ordinary, “who” in Last Rites and Various Prayers
2002 Sacred Triduum Missal by Neri Publications and Opus Mariae Mediatricis

So what do you think?

How to make your own hymnbook

My latest preoccupation has been making a hymnbook. This is much more interesting than the last one, mostly owing to including copyright hymns this time.

I have dealt with copyright before. The Christus Rex Pilgrims’ Book included two copyright hymns. This new book is running at about 17 at the moment.

First step is to find out who wrote the hymn. Most hymnbooks give this information along with some dates. The hymnbook may also have an acknowledgement section that tells you who gives permission to print the hymn too. This is handy information to have.

Researching is much easier of late, thanks to Searching for information can lead you to all sorts of sources, such as religious orders, literary agents, music publishers, directories of retired priests and even genealogical transcriptions of epitaphs.

But the internet alone is only the beginning. You may also need to write letters and make phone calls, even international phone calls. The literary agent A P Watt is very prompt in answering their telephone so if you are calling them choose Telstra’s 0011 option (billed per minute) rather than the 0018 option (billed per half hour).

Some copyright holders let you publish their works for free as long as you credit them properly. The religious orders seem to fall into this category. The literary agencies can be more pricey going by the prices given on the A P Watt website. There are agencies specialising in copyright permissions for Church groups but they seem to focus more on annual fees rather than fees for printing hymnbooks. Word of Life does have a rate for printing hymnbooks though.

It does take time, patience and persistance, but it can be done. Maybe I’m saying that a little early, but each little breakthrough gives hope.

Hymnbooks online!

Which is your favourite? The painstakingly correct Westminster Hymnal? The St Basil Hymnal? The Australian mainstay of parish choirs the St Pius X Hymnal?

They are all available online!

Firstly the national Library of Australia has the Pius X Hymnal in melody edition and accompaniment.

Next the Internet Archive has the Westminster Hymnal and the St Basil for viewing online or downloading.

There are also other great resources out there such as Fr Edward Caswell’s Lyra Catholica, another compendium of Fr. Faber’s hymns and the works of Cardinal Newman.

No longer need we wade through photocopies of yellowed manuscripts. Its all there in black and white ready to print at will! Its all out of copyright!

So, we have the words, we have the music. Now we need the choirs to breathe life into these treasures, publishers to make them available again.

There is one caveat. The music of James McAuley is still under copyright. I think the translations by Fr. Ronald Knox are also copyright, making the reproduction of the Living Parish Hymnbook more difficult. But we have heaps to work with already.