What a publisher says about the timeline

PrayTell: What is your sense from a publisher’s perspective of the absolute kill date on the missal? Do you need to have the text by this Friday to make it by Advent 2011? Or if it comes several weeks later, would you still make it work in time somehow?

Jerry Galipeau, World Library Publications: This is not an easy question to answer. By this time of year, all of our texts for 2012 normally would have been submitted to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW), and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for proofreading and approval.

When I was worship resources editor here at WLP, I streamlined some very long and cumbersome processes. In so doing we were able to give ourselves (and those agencies) more lead time so that we were not backed against the wall when publishing deadlines loomed. So, we have quite a bit of time built into our own processes here.

The current worship resources editor, in frustration, has begun to construct the so-called “annual file,” the file from which all annual, quarterly, and three-times-per-year, worship resources are constructed. She is using current sacramentary texts. If we receive the texts sometime in the next few months, she, probably with the help of other editors, will painstakingly move through this file and substitute texts. This is not the ideal way of doing things, obviously. We wanted to have the time to apply our styles to the texts themselves from a series of source files, then know that what we were “plopping in” were texts that had already gone through a thorough proofing process. I would imagine that everything we (and other publishers) submit to the agencies over the next several years will be proofed with a fine-toothed comb, adding another layer of time.

So, that’s our situation. More pressing, of course, is the question about the Missal itself and the time it will take to construct it, edit it, and have it proofed and printed. We can do all we can to provide worship resources, but if there is no Missal ready in time, what’s the point?

In some low moments I am tempted to send the 2012 proof with the current sacramentary texts in it and wait for the reaction from the agencies . . .





5 responses to “What a publisher says about the timeline”

  1. Paul Inwood Avatar
    Paul Inwood

    Missalettes in the US are one problem. OCP are reported as needing 12 months to make modifications, given the size of their print-run. Their musical modifications for the missalette coming in on the 1st Sunday of Advent in any given year are supposed to have been fixed by February of the previous year. That means that for Advent 2011 they needed to know what the texts were by February 2010. Hmmm…

    And the big problem outside the US is precisely the altar missal itself, which will take a minimum of 10 months to produce. I suspect that US altar missal publishers are not much different.

    Did anyone mention national propers? Rome hasn’t yet approved any of those for the European English-speaking countries, though they take up 5% of the Missal.

    What a very sanguine comment by Jerry. Most of the publishers I have talked to are spitting blood, though they will not tell you this publicly.

  2. John Drake Avatar
    John Drake

    Perhaps those who whined “what if we just said wait?” will get their wish after all!

    1. Michael Podrebarac Avatar
      Michael Podrebarac

      I believe their “whining” was done in the name of pastoral prudence, in contrast to the administrative incompetence we are now experiencing.

    2. Chris Grady Avatar
      Chris Grady

      I was the 11th of several thousand people who signed. It wasn’t whining. I believe we were right to sign, and I believe we did it for the right reasons, and I beleive what’s happened to the process since then has proven us right.

      You can call it whining if you like, but that says more about you than it does about us, and we have definitely not “got our wish” so you can calm down a bit there.

      But neither has anyone else.

      The “proof of the pudding” – as they say . . .

  3. Greg Smith Avatar
    Greg Smith

    Michael P: Thank you, thank you for your words. Absolutely.

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