Questions about the Missal and Liturgy of the Hours


Hello, I wanted to ask a question regarding church liturgy. So, for the missal, does a new one come out every year? If I were to buy a St. Joseph missal, would I have to buy a new one every year? I ask this because I saw these small paperback missals which are sold according to year. Why is that? I would think that the same book would be good forever. I would like to know how the missal is structured with regards to time, and when the liturgy is used. Also, could I buy a St. Joseph missal and use it in all churches?

Also, I have a similar question for the Breviary. If I were to buy the abbreviated Breviary entitled “Christian Prayer” would I have to buy a new one the next year? Or is the liturgy of the hours the same forever?

Thank you so much, I have been searching for the answers to these questions online, buy couldn’t find them.


The Liturgy of the Hours is unchanging. What does happen is new saints get added to the calendar and occasionally a saint’s day will be moved. When that happens supplements are published. So you buy Christian Prayer and it is good until the Church changes the liturgy itself.

This can happen; there’s talk of a new translation sometime in the future (for the English LOTH). But until then you’re good.


Hello there.

There are different printings. Generally speaking, the paperback ones will only be good for a short time; a year, or maybe a season.

The reason is that the paperback ones match the texts to the current year’s calendar (example Christmas is a Monday one year, but a Tuesday another year).

It’s easy to tell the difference because the title of the book itself will say “2014” if it only applies to this year.

The St. Joseph Missals (there are different versions like Sundays and weekdays) are “perpetual” meaning that they will last several years—at least until there are changes made either to the texts of the Mass (not likely anytime soon), or the translations of Scripture (who knows?).

The book called “Christian Prayer” is good for every year. However, be aware that it is being revised, so the current book will not be useable in a few years. People are guessing 2 or 3 years.

Yes, if you buy a St Joseph Missal you can use it anywhere (at least in the U.S.). I recommend them highly.


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It depends on the publisher – I have the St. Paul Daily Missal which has the three year cycle of Sunday readings AND the two year cycle of weekday readings.

Layout can vary depending on the publisher but the Missal will contain: The Proper of the Seasons (Advent, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time), the Order of Mass, Proper of the Saints, and the Commons. Mine has a calendar section which shows the specific page the saint’s feast is on. It also has the Masses for the Dead and a prayer section.

With regard to the Breviary, you only have to buy it once – St. Joseph issues a yearly guide for “Christian Prayer” – it tells you which sections to use each day.


Actually, the revision of the Liturgy of the Hours is a “must happen.” The current book is already obsolete because it uses the old ICEL interpretations rather than translations of the texts from the Latin. The only reason we’re still using it is because the new one hasn’t been published yet.


Thanks so much everybody, this was very helpful!


The Church’s liturgical year is rather complicated with some celebrations fixed to particular calendar days, such as the Nativity of Jesus Christ (Christmas) celebrated each year on December 25, and other celebrations not fixed to particular calendar days, such as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter) which can be celebrated from March 22 to April 22, depending on the year. (Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following March 21.) In addition, the Sunday Mass readings follow a three-year cycle; the weekday (Monday through Saturday) Mass readings follow a two-year cycle.


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