Okay, so I lied. Words failed for a while. But now I have some words to share. I have spent much of the afternoon checking out the Altar Book for Lutheran Service Book. Wow. Facts:
1. It's big. Scratch that. It's huge. It's massive. Last page number is 1004.
2. It's beautiful. Gilded edges, four ribbons (burgandy, white, gold, and white).
3. It mostly stays open. This was a vital consideration and somehow, despite the huge size, it does hold its place when opened fairly well. With a little wear, I'll bet the whole thing will always lay flat open.
4. It's easy to read. I have the problem most folks do at my age (no, not that problem) - the EYE problem. And I can't see very well when things are printed too small. Especially when the altar book is to the side of the sacred species and I'm trying to read it. This will not be a problem.
5. If you like rubrics, you've got them - in red too, as they should be!
6. The propers are VERY well done, with each series (A,B,C and Historic) being listed separately. This is a HUGE contributor to the bulk of the book (propers run from page 553 to 994), but makes for a very easy to use book.
7. It's complete. What you looking for? Ash Wednesday? In there. Palm Sunday? In there. Maundy Thursday through the Vigil? In there. Litany? In there. Litany's music? In there. Prayers of the Church? In there. Small Catechism even? In there. Invitatories for various days and seasons with music? In there.
Well, what would an initial look-see be without something to complain about? I searched hard and one thing I did find: The historic series should have been put BEFORE the three year in the propers. There. See, contrary to what some say (who think I can find no fault with LSB) I have shown that I can nit-pick too.
Oh, and ONE more thing. The new Altar Book is more beautiful than the Lectionary. This should not be. I want to see those gilded edges on the next batch of Lectionary books, fellows! Our prayers to God SHOULD be in a beautiful book, but that book shouldn't outshine the Word of God - and currently it does. Can you fix that?
What astonishes me? How they are selling it for just $65!