For the second time this year, I ordered a custom-made missal cover from Alyssa Lehmann at Custom Missal & Breviary Covers. And, for the second time this year, I was so happy with the results!
This time around, it wasn’t a missal cover, per se, but rather an oversized cover for our giant copy of With God (which I seem to mention in at least every other post) . . . because, as much as I appreciate the people who take the time to re-publish lost classics on platforms such as CreateSpace . . . the covers generally need a little extra beauty and durability, especially for books like this one that are literal storehouses of the traditions of the Faith.
When my sister and I decided to purchase With God, it was with the view that we were making a significant addition to our current library of traditional Catholic material; something that we could share between us, use with our own children, etc. down the passage of years. So it called for a cover, not only to protect it, but to garb it with a little more dignity as well.
I mentioned Alyssa Lehmann and her website briefly in this post, but I wanted to give another review of her beautiful work, as well as let you have a peek into With God itself 🙂 Also, it was a good excuse to pull out my camera and finally charge the battery, ahem . . .
Here’s an overhead view. My sister and I selected brown vinyl for the cover, and it turned out to be a beautiful shade. The vinyl is nicely protective but also supple enough to where handling the book isn’t made difficult. Also, instead of Alyssa’s lovely embroidery (since we wanted to save on cost), we opted to request a large holy card pocket upgrade for the front cover, to where we could slip in some of our many Portraits of Saints 3.5inx5.5in holy cards interchangeably. (For now we’re using the Immaculate Conception card.) It works perfectly!
And since With God is hundreds of pages long and nearly two inches thick, ribbon markers were in order, so we requested six of those to be sewn in to the cover: all liturgically colored, all vibrant and durable!
I snapped a quick picture with a standard mechanical pencil, just for scale. This is a big book! (The cover is unzipped here.)
Now to take a closer look at the cover’s zipper area. While the front and back of the cover are sturdy, pliable vinyl, the zipper portion, as you can see, is made of a thinner, stretchier material that helps the zipper negotiate over fat books like these.
When I first put With God inside the cover, I thought that I’d somehow measured the thickness of the book incorrectly (and in retrospect, I think I could have stood to add another few sixteenths of an inch to the measurement, just to be safe, since the book is so thick) because the zipper portion honestly didn’t seem wide enough. Here’s what it looks like unzipped:
So yes, I kind of panicked. But then I actually had the brains to try zipping it, and the cover closed up as smooth as butter. Goodbye, panic 🙂 In the future, if I order a cover for a similarly thick book, I’m going to make sure I measure the thickness from the open-page-side and not the bound-side, since the former seems to be a little thicker than the latter. But nonetheless, the cover fits this book perfectly. The picture below shows the good stretch that the zipper material affords:
And she always sews in her patch on the inside left cover 🙂
And, last but not least, the ribbon markers:
And now we move on to the prayer book itself!
With God is giant and seemingly inexhaustible. There is no way I could currently give a comprehensive review of everything it holds. The copy I’ve linked to is a scan of the original; the paper is bright white, the text is of varying size depending on the section; but I think it all contributes to an undeniable old-style charm. I’d much prefer this than to an entirely re-typeset edition!
See the Imprimatur on the right page? 1911!!! This book is old!
There are many, many sections to this book. It begins with an introduction to prayer (which I haven’t read in full yet, but it looks wonderful), and then has early sections called, “Sanctification of the Day,” containing many of the best, old daily prayers; “Sanctification of the Month,” which, as you see below, lists the specific devotion of every month, and virtues assigned to each month. I found this so exciting!
It contains the entire Ordinaries for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. (Happy sigh. And it also has the entire Rite of Marriage?!) The fact that it’s larger print, and on more durable paper, than it would be in a missal, makes it ideal for study, potential highlighting, or copywork.
It also has pages upon pages of devotions to the Holy Trinity, to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Blessed Mother, including Stations of the Cross and meditations on the fifteen traditional mysteries of the Rosary.
And, of course, many prayers to beloved Saints . . .
. . . as well as verses, litanies, and hymns.
It’s going to take me the rest of my life to do anything like plumb the depths of this book, but I’m so grateful that good Fr. Lasance took such painstaking time to compile it all. What zeal for souls he must have had! I pray I will be able to meet this faithful priest one day in, as he termed it, “the celestial paradise.”
A blessed First Friday to you all!