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Extraordinary Form missal to be produced in Braille for the first time

Jesuit Fr John Sheehan, chairman of the Xavier Society for the Blind, demonstrates how to read the Braille edition of the New American Bible at the organisation's offices in New York (Photo: CNS)

An Order of Mass for the older Latin form of the liturgy is to be produced in Braille in what is believed to be the first of its kind.

The Latin Mass Society is working to produce the missal with the help of the UK-based Torch Trust, a Christian charity that supports people with sight loss.

Joseph Shaw, LMS chairman, said the idea for the Order of Mass came from supporters. “It is demand-driven,” he said.

He said that LMS was also preparing a large-text “Bishop’s Canon”, which contains the Canon of the Mass and other important texts, for use by priests with poor eyesight.

Braille was invented in the 19th century by the French Catholic musician Louis Braille. He had been a pupil at the world’s first school for the blind, which had been set up decades earlier by Valentin Haüy, another Catholic, in Paris.

A Braille missal already exists for the new English translation of the Mass. The Xavier Society for the Blind, an American organisation, has produced Braille versions of the Catechism and the New American Bible.