Questions re: Sunday Missal


I’m new to Catholicism, about to start RCIA in Aug. So, this is probably a really stupid question.
I’ve noticed that our parish announced a few weeks ago that the Missals are now here and available in the gift shop.
I’ve tried to find out what they are about, but haven’t really came up with much. I noticed there are weekly missals, Sunday missals, etc.
What are they for? And are they for a certain period of time? The Church has the Mass order information in each seating area in a couple of booklets that are really helpful, but I guess I’m curious regarding the missal for sale in the gift shop. It’s a burgundy color, but quite thick book.
Does anyone here use these? What kind of information would be in there that isn’t in the booklets at each seat. Should I be looking at getting one?

Sorry for the many questions.


The missals will usually contain the order of Mass, music for Mass, and usually the readings for each Sunday and or Daily Mass. The could run for any amount of time. They could be ones that never run out; you can reuse them all the time, or they could run seasonally (Ordinary Time - Christ the King Sunday), or they could run according to the liturgical year (First Sunday of Advent - Christ the King Sunday). Since you said that they are in a burgundy colored book and thick in size, they are probably ones that you an reuse all the time and not have to throw away at the end of the liturgical year.


Thanks so much, then with the missal I could look up the details prior to the mass, and hopefully increase my understanding? I will have to get one.:slight_smile: I just hesitated spending that much money, not really knowing what it entailed. Thank you!


Yup. Looking up the details/readings beforehand really helps sometimes rather than just sitting at Mass and listening to them. I always do that. I hope you get your money’s worth! :smiley:


It is basically the same red book that the priest uses to celebrate Mass, except that it is in a smaller size and has a bit more stuff in it. It allows you to follow along better if you desire to use it. It is not necessary, but it is nice to have.


Hey, welcome to the Church, the One True Faith! So happy you’re about to start RCIA in August!

As a newbie to the Church, I love your enthusiasm! So I’m about to give you some advice: Don’t buy anything just yet, because you may just find that you are attracted to the Mass on weekdays. If you were to buy a Sunday Missal, the weekday Masses wouldn’t be in it. For now, following along in the missalette that is probably in the pews already in your church will work just fine for Sundays.

There are a wide variety of published missals. You want to make sure you have the most current copy, which is the Roman Missal, 3rd revision, no matter what format you choose, unless, of course, you decided you want to assist at the Tridentine Mass (the Latin Mass,) in which case you’d need an entirely different Missal, if you wanted to buy a personal Missal for the Latin Mass, that is.)

I’d go to the bookstore and take a look at what they have to offer. There are all sorts of considerations, apart from what is actually in the text. For example:

I’ve already alluded to the fact that there is a daily missal and a Sunday missal.

Different editions come in different sizes of print, which may be a factor if you (like I) have presbyopia.

Some editions have prettier illustrations. If your meditation is stimulated by visual input you might want to think about that.

There’s also the matter of binding. A sewn binding lasts longer. The Mass doesn’t change all that much, although, being the organic re–presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, it has had some changes through the ages. Since Vatican II, which was in the early 1960’s, there have only been a couple of different translations. A missal is what they call in fashion an “investment piece.” The missal you buy today will most likely (barring another liturgical council, which doesn’t happen very often,) still be “current” the day you die (bound Missals have the Church and liturgical calendars in a chart that goes well into the 2040’s.) So it only pays to find something you really, really like and that will have some durability.

Other considerations: Hardcover, soft cover, or leather bound (obviously, the most expensive, but also the most beautiful and the most durable.) There is also the Magnificat magazine, which contains monthly daily Masses, and a lot of other resources, but which is disposable and requires a subscription, like any other magazine.

Go to other Catholic bookstores and online as well. I think this is one “shop till you drop” excursion that Our Lord would probably approve of.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I’d go to the bookstore, take a look at what’s available, and, once in RCIA, drop extremely heavy-handed hints to my RCIA sponsor that I would ***so love to get ***such and such a missal! You might get extremely fortunate and score the missal of your dreams as a reception gift next Holy Saturday!


Oldie 53, thank you so much. There is certainly a lot to consider when purchasing a missal. Any yes, the one in the Church is teaching me just fine right now, so I will wait.
I’m just so excited to get started, memorized the Rosary and say it daily. I go to Mass on Sunday’s as well as at least once during the week at noon. I’m reading all I can get my hands on right now, and I have a wonderful sponsor all lined up.
Once again, thank you for your explanation, it was much appreciated.


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