Problems with my new Missal

Greetings form Texas. I just bought a new Roman Missal, Seventh Edition, copyright “1993 - 2011,” published by “Rev. James Socias for Midwest Theological Forum,” of Woodridge, IL.

In the missal, After the CREED, there is a heading “UNIVERSAL PRAYER” with an explanation “then follows the Universal Prayer, that is, the Prayer of the Faithful or Bidding Prayers.”

My problem is that the"universal prayer" is not written there. After a lot of work, I found the Universal Prayer buried near the back of the Missal in the section “Prayers After Mass (!)”, but I can’t find the “Bidding Prayers” at all, which I think are the prayers for intercession, calling for the response “Lord, her our prayer,” or they did up until the 2011 translation.

This is such a regular and important part of the Mass in my parish, and contemplates such full participation by the congregation, that I am surprised and a little frustrated that they aren’t written out right there after the creed

What am I missing?

Thanks so much,

In our parish, they are composed fresh each Sunday, to take account of world tragedies like earthquakes. They don’t stay the same each week.

In the sacristy, our parish does have a book of suggested Prayers of the Faithful which can be used. But as I said, new ones are composed each week generally in our parish, and perhaps that is the recommended way to do them, which would explain their absence from your missal.

Thanks so much. They change here, too. I guess I was just expecting some formal entry or explanation, especially for the unvarying response, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

Is that the unvarying response used in the UK?

Kind regards,


It’s the one used most in our parish - Lord, in your mercy’ with the response ‘Hear our prayer’ but I have also come across ‘Lord, hear us’ ‘Lord, graciously hear us’.

From the GIRM:

General Intercessions

  1. In the general intercessions or prayer of the faithful, the people, exercising their priestly function, intercede for all humanity. It is appropriate that this prayer be included in all Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the Church, for civil authorities, for those oppressed by various needs, for all people, and for the salvation of the world.[38]

  2. As a rule the sequence of intentions is to be:

a. for the needs of the Church;
b. for public authorities and the salvation of the world;
c. for those oppressed by any need;
d. for the local community.

In particular celebrations, such as confirmations, marriages, funerals, etc., the series of intercessions may refer more specifically to the occasion.

  1. It belongs to the priest celebrant to direct the general intercessions, by means of a brief introduction to invite the congregation to pray, and after the intercessions to say the concluding prayer. It is desirable that a deacon, cantor, or other person announce the intentions.[39] The whole assembly gives expression to its supplication either by a response said together after each intention or by silent prayer.

This should answer your question about the response

Simply put, because there is nothing to write out. The parish, pastor, or celebrant may use whatever they like for the universal prayer at every Mass. There is no set forumula. In the back of the Missal, there’s a few example formularies, but they are rarely used.

It does, thank you coachdennis.

As a follow-up, note that “*The whole assembly gives expression to its supplication either by a response said together after each intention or by silent prayer.
*” doesn’t specify what response is appropriate.

I guess the priest assumes everyone in the congregation will know the expected response through custom.

Thanks again.

on edit: Thanks to you as well, super. The congregation’s response “Lord hear our prayer” has been so unvarying in my church over so many years that I assumed it was formulaic and required to be in that form, though of course the specific intercessions requested need to vary often.

No, it’s not required, although from general practice, you’d think it was required. Glad to be of help!

In my parish, and in most others I have been to, the priest usually tells the congregation what the response will be. Mostly, it is “Lord, hear our prayer”, but it can vary. Sometimes the response is sung, other times said.

I think you are confusing two entirely different things.

The “Universal Prayer” that comes after Creed and before the Offeratory is what used to be called the “Prayer of the Faithful.” It is a series of petitions followed by an acclamation like “Lord, hear our prayer” or “Lord have mercy.”

The “Universal Prayer” in the back of the MTF missal is a prayer by Pope Clement XI. It’s a private devotional prayer and is not part of the liturgy.

While the two might have the same name, they are two different things.

Thanks, PacoG, that explains it.

I appreciate you and the feedback from everyone else.


Appendix V of the Roman Missal has eleven examples, “Examples of Formularies for the Universal Prayer”.

The responses are:

  1. “Grant this, almighty God.”
  2. “Christ hear us” or “Christ, graciously hear us.”
  3. “Lord, have mercy” or “Kyrie, eleison”.
  4. “Lord, have mercy.”
    5 - 11 have no responses given in these examples.

Reference: Roman Missal, English translation according to the third typical edition, approved for use in the dioceses of Australia, England and Wales, and Scotland, published by Catholic Truth Society, in 2010, ISBN 9781860827303, pages 1515-1527.

John! Thanks for the feedback.

I like #1.

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