How to use 1950's Daily Missal


I found my Mom’s old 1950’s St. Joseph Daily Missal. I thought it would be easy enough to understand, but I must be dumber than I thought.

Today is Sept 30th, so I turned to p 991 for that day, and I see that it lists St Jerome… okay, that makes sense. Now, if I wanted to find the readings, I would think they would be listed in the section someplace. It says Mass: Of Doctor, page 1103, so I turn to 1103. It lists the Epistle as 2 Tim. 4, 1-8, but the reading for today is JB 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23. Also, the book lists the gospel as Matt 5: 13-19, but the actual Gospel is LK 9:51-56.

So what am I doing wrong that these are not correct?





Well, you are dealing with two different calendars and “forms” of the Mass. The 1950’s era missal corresponds to the “extraordinary form”, specifically to the Common of Doctors, and your expectation for readings for today are aligned with the “ordinary form”, weekday of the 20 (whatever) week of ordinary time.

So, you aren’t doing anything incorrectly. Your expectations, perhaps, were a bit off. Things are quite different in terms of readings and calendar, from the old to the new forms of Mass…



Okay, so given that we are in week 26 of ordinary time and it looks like it ends with the 23rd Sunday (strange that it says it is the daily missal, but it only has Sunday’s in the Proper of the season) where do I find the proper readings (or can’t I any longer)?

I’d love to be able to use this if possible and not just relegate it to sit on my bookshelf.

Thanks and many blessings,



The readings that were used are the readings for the Tuesday of the 26th week of Ordinary Time.(year 2) There are readings for the memorial of St. Jerome as well. (I don’t know what they are.) The priest can choose whether to use the readings for the day or the memorial. In my experience most priests use the readings for ordinary time.

I don’t know how different the readings would be from 1950 to now.


You can’t – the 1950 Missal is based on a one year cycle that repeats every year. The current missals have a 3 year cycle for the Sunday readings and a 2 year cycle for the daily readings.


The only way you’ll be able to use it is if you find a parish that celebrates a daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

I’ll admit that I’m not sure if there is a difference between the readings back in 1950 which are those in your missal and those of the slightly revised Mass that is the 1962 Extraordinary Form.


Okay, I was afraid of that. Makes sense as I was wondering how that was accomplished. Well, I’ll just keep it on my bookshelf as a nice relic from the past.


Not a relic–the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is offered in hundreds of locations in the United States, including some in Ohio. Make a trip to one of them, and see the EF in its glory, with the old missal being used.


I agree with the other posters, if you can find a parish in your area that celebrates the old Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) it can still be used I believe. We have one near my house and I attend occasionally. It took a while to get back into the way it is celebrated but I love the reverence and beauty of the liturgy.


Is there some place I can find these? I called our parish and spoke with someone there and they said they the catholic church does not do that mass any longer. I sort of expected that, but I would think it would be alive and well in some of the Cleveland churches.




It’s unfortunate they keep saying this but it’s not true. Here is a list.


You can choose to follow the readings daily at home regardless of what’s being celebrated at your local mass. I have quite a few missals from the 1920s-1962.




It’ll still be generally useable at the 1962 liturgy. The major differences between the '50 and the '62 would be the Holy Week revisions of Pius XII in '55, some differences in the ranking and classification of feast days, and I believe there’s were still alternative Last Gospels in 1950. The lectionary will be practically identical.

That is a great shame, I wonder just how prevalent the attitude is that the traditional Mass is no longer used? As has been mentioned, in the United States alone there are hundreds of places which provide the traditional Mass in full and regular communion with the pope. There are priestly fraternities that are growing every day whose sole provision is the celebration of the traditional Mass, and there are young and vibrant communities of both male and female religious that are dedicated to the same liturgy.

Whoever answered at the parish was sorely mistaken. The liturgy of 1962—and your 1950 missal is pretty much the same liturgy—is alive and thriving in the Church. :slight_smile:

In Jesus and Mary,


Thanks OS… so basically, I should be able to use my 1950 missal at mass.

Could someone tell me what week I should be looking at for this coming Sunday (October 5th, 27th Week of Ordinary time) so I know where I should be in the book when my wife and I try and go to a Tridentine mass this weekend.

A couple of other questions…

  • Will the readings be done in English?
  • What about the Homily? Will this also be done in English?
  • I assume the rest of the mass will all be in Latin, which we should be able to follow in the missal.
  • Does anyone know where I can find an extra missal or two without breaking the bank? Looking on Amazon, these things seems rather pricey.

Thanks and many blessings!!




This will be the “17th Sunday after Pentecost.” Readings will be in Latin and (most likely) then in English just before the homily, which will be English. Nothing else will be English (well, if its a low Mass you’ll have English prayers after Mass…) but also be advised that much of what the priest will say will be in a low voice so you probably won’t hear it at all. In those times, it can be difficult to know where he is in the prayers. After a while, you’d be able to tell what he is saying (at least be in the ballpark) by his gestures and what he is doing. But, for your first time, I’d suggest not getting too concerned with trying to be on exactly the same page as the priest. Also, the choir may be singing one text while the priest is reciting another. It can be a bit confusing.

The church will probably have some sort of missal, with at least the ordinary parts of the Mass, and maybe even a few spare ones like what you have.



This calendar and readings may help you. My St. Joseph’s Missal is tough to follow because the propers are in English only (you’re at a Latin Mass) and not that good a translation to begin with IMO. (I have a late 50’s St. Joseph Missal.)


Wow… this sounds difficult.

I know this is a valid mass, but if I don’t understand Latin, or know what is going on, how am I keeping my Sunday Obligation?

Also, in looking though the Ordinary of the mass in my 1950’s missal, I see the part’s labeled with a Red P, and I see those are for the Priest. I also see the parts that are a Red S, and I think that is for the server. How do I know what parts we are supposed to say, or are all the parts labeled S what we are to say? Or did the assembly just observe the mass and not participate in it back then?

Sorry for all the questions, but I am learning quite a bit on this and really appreciate it.




Your obligation is to attend Mass, not to understand or repeat any particular proportion of words at it. You satisfy your obligation just by being there with an open and prayerful heart.

It’s worth remembering, Latin has not been anything like the vernacular for the better part of a thousand years – yet not only were people not violating the Sunday obligation by attending, many of them even became saints.

You’ll puzzle it out with time if you keep going and it will become as second nature.

IF it is a dialogue Mass, you would say the parts of the server along with the server. That is IF it is a dialogue Mass.

Not all Masses are dialogue Masses. Some low Masses are celebrated without dialogue. High Masses have dialogue between priest and server relatively muted while the schola sings in the background; the people chime in at many fewer points.


There’s not that much Latin that you have to take ten years of it to understand the Latin in the Mass. There is the English (or Spanish now) alongside it in most handmissals. And if the parts of the Mass are inaudible, there is reason for it, but you can tell what’s going on by all the visuals (the bowing, crossing, genuflecting, where the priest stands, etc.)

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