New Missal’s Cover Explained


We can now reveal what your Altar Missal will look like when you start using it on the First Sunday of Advent 2011!

CTS’s aim is to make a book which through the quality of its materials and design will speak of the noble simplicity of the Roman Rite and of the dignity which is pertinent to Liturgical books.

What it all means

As it takes its place on the altars of churches in Britain and Australia, we are confident that the Altar Missal will be an object of dignified beauty, quality and durability. To that end it will be bound in genuine Italian leather and blocked in gold, not only on the front, back and spine but also on the inside lip of the cover. Together with the gilding of the book block this will emphasise the precious nature of the words the book contains and liturgies at which it is used.


The cross which is the centrepiece of the design has been designed to communicate the continuity but also the differences with the 1970 translation of the Mass. The cross is the same shape as that used on the previous Liturgical Books but is more complex, laden with symbolism and hopefully more beautiful, encapsulating some of the aims of the new text. The cross also aims to represents something of the ancient character of the texts contained and the liturgy celebrated using the Missal.

The cross is inspired by a Greek St George’s cross and is surrounded by eight Greek letters. The ‘Christogram’ IC and XC, (the Greek letters which are the abbreviation of the name Jesus Christ IesouS XristoS, the S represented by the ‘lunate sigma’ or what looks to us like a C). The NI KA is an abbreviation of the word NIKAtor or ‘conqueror’. So around the glorious Cross are the words Jesus Christ the Conqueror which of course refers not to any earthly victory, but to his victory over death and sin which is celebrated and made present at every Mass.

Illustrations coming soon

The decorative elements on the border are inspired by the cross itself and the corner crosses are taken from the decorative elements found in the beautiful illustrations that will be reproduced in full colour within the Missal… more on those next week.

For even more information click here.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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4 comments on “New Missal’s Cover Explained

  1. M. Jackson Osborn

    March 3, 2011 at 6:57 am Reply

    An example of eccelsiastical art at its best. Inimitably tasteful. And, it looks like a holy book.
    Have we any hope of an American book of equal beauty?

  2. I had always understood that ΝΙΚΑ (or νικᾷ) was the third person singular active indicative of νικάω, and thus means, “conquers”, not that it is an abbreviation for ΝΙΚΑΤΩΡ (or νικάτωρ). Thus, “Jesus Christ conquers”, not Jesus Christ [is] conqueror.

  3. The missal looks beautiful. The CTS must really have a good team working on this, I already thought their design for the Bible was excellent and now this… What can I say… the CTS is just going from strength to strength! Keep up the good work.

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