A missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts
necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year.
1.1 Roman Catholicism
2 Sections and illumination
3 For use by laypeople
4 See also
4.2 Other articles
6 External links
A page from the Sherbrooke Missal, one of the earliest surviving
Missals of English origin
Before the compilation of such books, several books were used when
celebrating Mass. These included the Gradual (texts mainly from the
Psalms, with musical notes added), the Evangelary or
Gospel Book, the
Epistolary with texts from other parts of the New Testament, mainly
the Epistles (letters) of Saint Paul, and the
Sacramentary with the
prayers that the priest himself said.
In late mediaeval times, when it had become common in the West for
priests to say Mass without the assistance of a choir and other
ministers, these books began to be combined into a "Mass book"
(missale in Latin), for the priest's use alone. This led to the
appearance of the missale plenum ("full or complete missal"), which
contained all the texts of the Mass, but without the music of the
choir parts. Indications of the rubrics to be followed were also
Roman Missal (Missale Romanum) published by Pope St. Pius V in
1570 eventually replaced the widespread use of different missal
traditions by different parts of the church, such as those of Troyes,
Sarum (Salisbury), and others. Many episcopal sees had some local
prayers and feast days in adition.
At the behest of the Second Vatican Council,
Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI greatly
increased the amount of Sacred Scripture read at Mass and, to a lesser
extent, the prayer formulas. This necessitated a return to having the
Scripture readings in a separate book, known as the Lectionary. A
separate Book of the Gospels, with texts extracted from the
Lectionary, is recommended, but is not obligatory. The Roman Missal
continues to include elaborate rubrics, as well as antiphons etc.,
which were not in sacramentaries.
The first complete official translation of the
Roman Missal into
English appeared in 1973, based on the text of 1970. On 28 March 2001,
Holy See issued the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam. This
included the requirement that, in translations of the liturgical texts
from the official
Latin originals, "the original text, insofar as
possible, must be translated integrally and in the most exact manner,
without omissions or additions in terms of their content, and without
paraphrases or glosses. Any adaptation to the characteristics or the
nature of the various vernacular languages is to be sober and
discreet." The following year, the third typical edition of the
Roman Missal in
Latin was released.
Missal sitting on an altar desk in an
These two texts made clear the need for a new official English
translation of the Roman Missal, particularly because the previous one
was at some points an adaptation rather than strictly a translation.
An example is the rendering of the response "Et cum spiritu tuo"
(literally, "And with your spirit") as "And also with you".
The fresh official English translation, prepared by the International
Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), was adopted by
English-speaking episcopal conferences and received confirmation from
the Holy See.
The text of this revised English translation of the
Order of Mass
Order of Mass is
available at this website page, and a comparison between it and that
at present in use in the United States is given under the heading
"Changes in the People's Parts".
Anglican tradition, in 1921, the Society of Saints Peter
and Paul published the
Missal in Great Britain. The Frank
Gavin Liturgical Foundation of Mount Sinai published a revised edition
in 1961 and the
Anglican Parishes Association continues to print
Sections and illumination
In France, missals begin to be illuminated from the beginning of the
13th century. At this time, the missal was normally divided into
several parts: calendar, temporal, preface and canon of the mass,
sanctoral, votive masses and various additions. Two principal parts of
the missal are the temporal and sanctoral. The temporal contains texts
for the mass, day by day for the whole liturgical year, organized
Christmas and Easter. The sanctoral presents a liturgical year
through the commemoration of saints. Finally, votive masses (a mass
for a specific purpose or read with a specific intent by the priest),
different prayers, new feasts, commemoration of recent saints and
canonizations were usually placed at the end of the missal.
Iconographic analysis of the missals of the
Diocese of Paris
Diocese of Paris from the
13th-14th centuries shows the use of certain traditional images as
well as some changing motifs. Among the former group, some types of
initials, including the introit to the First Sunday of Advent; to the
preface of the mass for Holy Week; to the masses for saints,
containing their images, but also the rich illumination of two pages
of the missal in full size: the
Crucifixion of Jesus
Crucifixion of Jesus and Christ in
Majesty. The second group with changing scenes include some images of
the clergy that are not depicted in all missals, but can be a
repeating motif pertaining to only one manuscript. This can be the
priest at prayer, the priest elevating the host (sacramental bread),
monks in song and so forth.
For use by laypeople
The term "missal" is also used for books intended for use not by the
priest but by others assisting at Mass or the service of worship.
These books are sometimes referred to as "hand missals" or
"missalettes", while the term "altar missal" is sometimes used to
distinguish the missal for the priest's use from them. Usually they
omit or severely abbreviate the rubrical portions and Mass texts for
other than the regular yearly celebrations, but include the Scripture
One such missal has been used for the swearing in of a United States
President. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States
Air Force One
Air Force One using a missal of the late President, because it
was presumed to be a Bible.
Missal of Silos
^ Catholic Encyclopedia:
Missal Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback
^ Missale plenum
^ Sacrosanctum Concilium, 51
^ The "typical edition" of a liturgical text is that to which editions
by other publishers must conform.
^ a b Cavanaugh, Stephen E. (2011). Anglicans and the Roman Catholic
Church: Reflections on Recent Developments. Ignatius Press.
p. 105. ISBN 9781586174996. The first edition of the
Missal was published in London by the Society of Saints Peter
and Paul in 1921; the first American edition appeared in 1943,
published by the Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation of Mount Sinai,
Long Island, N.Y., and in 1947 a revised edition was published
(reprinted in 1961); the publication rights were given (or sold) to
Anglican Parishes Association in the 1970s, which reprinted the
^ Transcript, Lawrence F. O'Brien Oral History Interview XIII,
9/10/86, by Michael L. Gillette, Internet Copy, LBJ Library (page 23
at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on
2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-05. ).
Catholic Encyclopedia: Missal
Missale ad usum insignis Ecclesiæ Eboracensis (The York
Missale ad usum insignis Ecclesiæ Eboracensis (alternate edition)
Download of Church of England
Missal in PDF