Sarum Compilation

Some time ago, I took on the project of compiling a complete Sarum missal in English from the translation of Canon Warren (which uses Prayer Book style English) and the biblical readings from the King James Bible.

The problem with the Warren missal is that it is rare and expensive to buy from second-hand book dealers. The text is now out of copyright and in the public domain. It is full of cross references and references to sources, which is great for a study edition. It is in two volumes, so it becomes very cumbersome at the altar. The order of mass is full of rubrics, which I have decided to separate into the text for use at the altar and a sort of ritus servandus at the beginning of the missal like in the Roman rite. The Warren missal only gives biblical references for the readings, so you need a Bible or booklets with the pericopes as I have compiled in Lectionary for the Sarum Missal in English. All that involves two books, a booklet for the order of mass and a booklet for the readings. I have organised myself to manage all these books and booklets, but it could be discouraging for others.

My project involves the compilation of texts with as few cross references as possible, so that it is possible to say Mass from a single book on any one day, even when there is a commemoration of the feria on a saint’s feast or a commemoration of the saint’s feast on a Sunday. My initial idea is to finish the editing and correcting of a scan of Warren’s missal, copying and pasting in the biblical texts.

Initially, I copy and paste the texts into Publisher and make A5 format booklets of about 40 pages each. This gives me three booklets at most on the missal stand at any one time: temporal, sanctoral (votive) and the order of mass. You just reverse the order of the booklets, and you have no books lying on the altar.

I could do a private binding following the method adopted for the Breviary, in two or four parts as would leave books of a reasonable thickness. You have so much of the temporal (typically Advent to Pentecost and then Trinity to the Sunday next before Advent, the September Ember Days and the Dedication) and the amount of the sanctoral that would always cover that part of the temporal. The Breviary repeats saints’ feasts from one volume to another to ensure the overlap. It seems like a headache, but it needs doing. The result will be a one-off, a small run which will give books even rarer than hen’s teeth, or perhaps something that could be organised and the cost of it shared or crowdfunded.

Here is some unfinished work in Word (doc) format:

The sanctoral contains only December, October and November. I have already done booklets for myself. In time, I will add the rest. With what I already have in Word documents, I can do a month in a few hours, checking for scanning errors – a lot of work!

The temporal goes from Advent to Easter, and then the Sundays after Trinity, the September Ember Days and the Dedication. I haven’t yet touched the Common of Saints, the votive masses, masses of Our Lady and the Dead. There is also the marriage service, the least reformed service in the Prayer Book! I also intend to do a ritus servandus from the rubrics in the order of mass, the first Sunday of Advent and a few bits and pieces from practical experience and comparison with the Dominican rite.

These texts may be copied into booklets or other formats as needed. Download the Liturgy font to get the Maltese crosses and the versicle and response signs. I recommend using the Book Antiqua font which is installed on most computers as part of the standard Windows package. It is sober, elegant and easy to read.

A note on the order of mass in English: I edited a booklet which I use at the altar. I removed most of the rubrics one I was confident that I was doing everything properly. The prefaces are complete for each one, and not just the middle sections. The translation is extremely sensitive, as we read these texts every day. My principle is that everything in common with the Anglican Missal (for example the Gregorian Canon) uses that translation, and what is not in the Anglican Missal comes from the Warren translation. I still have revision work to do before publishing it. It is essential to have familiar texts.

My first goal is to compile the entire missal, complete with biblical readings and texts from cross references inserted, all in Word format, and see if anyone wants then to discuss the bookbinding problems.

A question for my readers, is there a DTP package that arranges the pages into a series of booklets with equal numbers of pages? Publisher only does booklets for stapling. If that problem can be solved, then it is only a question of bookbinding using the traditional method of sewing in sections. That is the only way to have a book that withstands liturgical use.

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3 Responses to Sarum Compilation

  1. Robert Stevens says:

    I initially used clickbook to make booklets but after word97 it was easier to use it’s 2-to-a-page printing option and work out what order to print the pages in, e.g. 16,1,2,15,… An excel spreadsheet was the easiest way to get the full sequence for say 60. If you wanted say a 600 page book in section of say 32 for sewing this would just mean adding 32 to the sequence for the second set.

  2. Stephen says:


    As someone who – during lockdown – has revived my old interest in the Sarum Use, do you have an updated form of the Temporal or the Sanctoral?

    With kind regards,


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