– Vol. 5, No. 1: March 1999
The Rev. Peter John Cameron, OP, Editor
Magnificat USA LLC, PO Box 91, Spencerville, MD 20868-9978 www.magnificat.net
Yearly subscription (14 issues) $39.95 (US)
Have you ever wished for a resource that would help you participate more fully in the prayer of the Church? The French originaters of this personal prayerbook-cum-missal in periodical form are to be congratulated for extending this excellent spiritual resource to English-speaking Catholics in North America.
Handsomely produced and printed, Magnificat‘s greatest contribution may be that it provides, in abbreviated form, the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office), as well as the texts of the Order of Mass and Scripture readings for Sundays and weekdays.
Unlike the more complete forms of the Liturgy of the Hours, which many laymen find daunting, Magnificat provides clear and easy to follow versions of Morning and Night Prayer. It will, we think, will inspire many more Catholics to participate in this prayer of the Church, as the Second Vatican Council intended. It might also be used as a daily and Sunday missalette.
Scripture readings for Sundays are from the new Lectionary for Mass. The Psalms are from the 1963 Grail translation, the version used in both Christian Prayer and Daily Prayer (the one-volume versions of the Divine Office used in the United States and Great Britain, respectively). Mass texts include the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei in both English and in Latin, and the Kyrie in both English and Greek.
In addition to prayer and Mass texts, Magnificat contains meditations suitable for the day, a Liturgical Calendar, and short essays relating to the season of the Church Year. It also includes the texts of classic hymns for the liturgical season. (The editors are mindful of the problems of "inclusivized" hymn texts, and are committed to using standard English.)
The meditations and essays represent a spectrum of the Catholic heritage — Leo the Great, Pope John Paul II, Thomas Aquinas, Cardinal Ratzinger, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Catherine of Siena, Edith Stein, Flannery O’Connor and Peter Kreeft, among many others.
The American edition is edited by Dominican Fathers Peter John Cameron, and Romanus Cessario. Father Cameron teaches at the New York archdiocesan seminary, Saint Joseph’s, Dunwoodie, and Father Cessario at the Boston archdiocesan Saint John’s Seminary.
The impressive early circulation numbers (33,000 after only 3 months) is an indication of the real need for such a resource, and the desire of Catholics for a reliable aid for prayer and worship.
An annual subscription to Magnificat includes fourteen issues. – HHH