Is this normal?


Forgive me but I don’t know much about the Catholic Church at the moment. But I am enjoying every minute of learning about the faith. I have been visiting different Catholic Churches in the area and plan to start RCIA next year.

At one particular church when Daily Mass starts the priest walks in from a side entrance and announces the page number in the missile (I think) and we all recite it together. It’s not the daily reading. Just a short paragraph for that particular day. These missiles are about 300 pages and are located in the pews. Then after the first Daily Reading the lector refers back to the missile and reads from it and then we all respond with one sentence after each verse or so…but it’s not the Daily Reading. This book only has one of the Daily Readings for each day. This happens in both daily and Sunday Masses except on Sunday Masses the Priest walks in from the back behind the processional. But he still announces a page number in the missile when he is walking down the isle and we all start reading from it. I’m not Catholic…why does this church use missiles and others do not? Is this normal?


What did the priest say when you asked him your question? Or the other parishioners you spoke with?


Just a small point…a missile is something you fire at an enemy…a missal is what you read from at church. Confusingly they are pronounced the same in American, although not in English…


I didn’t ask anyone. :o


I am not sure, but in the first example it sounds like what you are reading is what is called an Antiphon at the beginning of Mass, and in the second instance it is what is called the Antiphon for the Responsorial Psalm, where the lector reads a verse of the psalm, and the people respond with a selected response. All of this is completely normal if that is what is happening. The priest may process in either way, it is their choice.

Some parishes use missals and others not for various reasons. One is the added expense. Another is the Pastor’s choice. He may prefer that people listen to the Readings and prayers rather than read them, others feel the parishoners benefit more by reading along. Neither way is incorrect, both have benefits. In my parish we have some Missals for those who want them, but most do not.

The best thing to do is ask the priest or another person what is going on if you do not understand. Most will be happy to explain.


At our parish the priest will start Mass with, “The Entrance Antiphon is on page XXX.” He waits a moment. Then starts down toward the Altar, saying whatever is listed as the Antiphon.

After the Reading, but before the Gospel, we hear and respond to the Responsorial Psalm.

Also, right before Communion, we say the Communion Antiphon.

For daily Mass, the reading aren’t in the missal. :shrug: But if you have your own Daily Missal you can follow along with the Reading/Gospel.


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