What is a Missal?

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When we talk about a Missal we are generally talking about one of two books:

  • the Roman Missal the official liturgical book which contains the texts prayed by priest and people at every celebration of Mass.
  • a Sunday or Weekday Missal which is a compilation of texts from the Missal (the prayers) and the Lectionary (the readings) brought together to assist people‚Äôs participation in the Mass.

Slightly confusingly there is a third definition for the Missal in the Roman Liturgy which is overall volume or section of the liturgical rites. The Roman Missal covers the liturgical books used at Mass: the Missal and the Lectionary. In some countries in the past they have used the term Sacramentary to distinguish between the two uses but the Holy See have asked that the title Roman Missal be kept.

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Roman Missal contents handout 170.40 kB
Books of the Roman Rite


What's different?

The 3rd edition of Latin Missale Romanum was published in 2002. The number of changes since the 1st or 2nd editions is not large. Indeed, it is worth remembe...Read more