Server's Mass Response Card
by Louis J. Tofari
Original year of publication: 2008
In a project that spanned nearly four years, this card was the first completed project of ROMANITAS PRESS.
You might perhaps be already familiar with a similar response card that Benziger Brothers produced over fifty years ago and which has been often reproduced. The ROMANITAS PRESS’ version was developed similarly on this former model and includes improvements, corrections and some valuable additions which are outlined below.
The primary intent of this card was for training purposes (i.e., off the altar, as the server is presumed to have his responses memorized), so its size was substantially expanded to accommodate the additional explanatory texts that do not exist on the Benziger edition. Nevertheless, recognizing that often such a card is needed at the altar, the layout was carefully arranged to provide it with a compact size when folded, while a lightweight, but thick paper stock was utilized to keep it stiff when being held.
The card consists of four, double-sided partitions (though the images make it appear that there are only three) which fold down to a single partition.
The front partitions of the card contain the Latin responses with their corresponding English phonetic renderings. An improvement made in this area was in conforming all of these phonetic renderings according to the Roman Church’s method of pronouncing liturgical Latin more romano, thereby correcting various Anglocizations that frequently existed in previous versions of response cards. The phonetic renderings were also aligned under each word, rather than strung out from column end to column end, which helps the reader to better visualize how each syllable is to be pronounced. Also the various rubrical instructions for the liturgical gestures and reverences made in connection with the various responses were expanded and the responses made when serving for a bishop were added. To utilize the front side, simply start at side 1, then flip the card over to side 2, open the card once to read side 3, then side 4.
The back partitions of the card (accessed by opening the card completely) are found some helpful explanations and basic rules on more romano pronunciation and responding, a list of common pronunciation mistakes made by English-speakers, and even footnotes providing pertinent authoritative citations.
Another improvement of this card is the newly-typeset text printed in red and black and in easy-to-read fonts.
Finally, a clear matte varnish was applied after the printing to increase the anti-glare property of the matte paper stock and to protect the card from moisture and frequent use.
This item is out of stock. Visit www.romanitaspress.com to order.
[Update 1/19/09- Read this review on Fr. Z's Blog]