When you lose your place in the missal

In my single days, I never used to have a problem following along with the TLM. Now that I have small children, though, I’m often distracted… which means that I end up spending a significant amount of time flipping around in the missal, trying to find the place where we are right now. The ribbons are helpful, but they just get me to the general vicinity, not exactly to the right spot. (And that’s assuming I know whether we’re in the Ordinary or the Propers, which isn’t always the case. )

I do know some Latin, so that’s not really the problem. It’s more that I don’t have an intuitive sense of the different parts of the Mass… what just happened, what’s coming next, etc. Until I can grasp this, does anyone know of a “cheat sheet” or summary (ideally with some sort of color-coding, or other visual cues) that would be small enough to tuck inside a missal? I’ve even thought about using Post-It flags, labeled with the major prayers, changes in posture, etc., but that seems kind of cheesy. :blush:

I’m currently using the Baronius Press Latin-English missal, but would certainly consider switching if someone knows of one with an easier-to-follow layout.

(I’ve also used the St. Joseph Sunday Missal, which is English-only and doesn’t require flipping back and forth – but I actually found it more difficult to find my place again, without the Latin at hand.)

I have used the Baronius Press Missal and it is adequate. I found the Roman Missal by Angelus Press better. The side notes and layout are, for me, easier to follow. Another Missal to consider is the Roman Missal by Fr. Lasance (1945). Excellent format and with great illustrations, but a bit on the bulky side. Lastly, the St Joseph Missal you mentioned is also available in Latin-English, and there are various editions including the St Joseph Continuous SUNDAY Missal. There is ***no need for flipping back and forth with this edition ***(but Sundays and special days only, not daily). Hope I was a little help and not confusing. God Bless.:slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try to take a look at those. :slight_smile:

I suggest figuring out the readings beforehand and then putting the ribbons there for that day.

The Ordinary is done every time. Always keep a ribbon there, moving it along as you advance through the mass.

For most Sundays, the Proper of Seasons will have the scripture readings, collects, postcommunion, secret etc. The same sunday mass is used on ferias with no feast. Each feria of lent is proper however. If there is a feast, the propers will be found in the Proper of Saints. The Ordinary will indicate where to insert these readings and prayers from the Propers.

The Common may be used for some feasts, and that may add a third thing to flip to. If a feast uses the common, then most of the propers will be in the Common except perhaps a collect as indicate in the Proper of Saints for that feast.

Thanks, but I’m not having trouble finding the Ordinary and the Propers for each Mass; the ribbons work fine for that. The problem is, after I’ve been distracted *during *Mass (which happens frequently), I have to flip around *within *each of those sections, in order to find the specific prayer we’re on at that moment. :o I’ve always managed to find the right place eventually, but I’m just hoping that there’s some way to make it a bit faster.

It sounds like I might do better with one of the missals that have more extensive marginal notes about the parts of the Mass, the priest’s posture, and so on.

Ah, well for that I can’t help so much.

My preference is a smaller chapel where I can actually HEAR the priest saying everything (except those parts meant to be silent), so I dont have to rely on posture and stuff. Ideally, we would hear the priest saying all the parts that are supposed to be heard.

The ribbons are helpful, but they just get me to the general vicinity, not exactly to the right spot. (And that’s assuming I know whether we’re in the Ordinary or the Propers, which isn’t always the case. )

I don’t know how helpful it may be: but the rule is that, except for the Offertory (antiphon) Secret and Preface, all the other Propers are said at the side of the altar- (your right)- except for the Gospel (your left).

Most of the Ordinary is said at the center. Exceptions: the priest at the Offertory goes to (your) right to mix the water with the wine and wash his hands, after communion he goes to there to perform the second ablution. And the Last Gospel is read at the side of the altar (your left )

Whenever the priest turns he is either saying Dominus vobiscum, Orate Fratres, or the words for communion (in some places the Confiteor, etc. then the Ecce Agnus Dei, etc.) At the end, he says Ite, Missa Est also facing you

Until the Offertory, this is the breakdown:

If he’s at the bottom, he’s saying the prayers at the foot of the altar.

Introit- your right
Kyrie/Gloria- center.
Collect- right, priest’s hands extended (though I don’t know whether it’ll be visible to you)
Epistle to Alleluia – your right- hands on the missal (though this won’t be visible)
Gospel- your left
Creed- center
Offertory: first period of extended silence. Plus the servers will be at the corner assisting the priest

The ribbons are helpful, but they just get me to the general vicinity, not exactly to the right spot. (And that’s assuming I know whether we’re in the Ordinary or the Propers, which isn’t always the case. )

I don’t know how helpful it may be: but the rule is that, except for the Offertory (antiphon) Secret and Preface, all the other Propers are said at the side of the altar- (your right)- except for the Gospel (your left).

Most of the Ordinary is said at the center. Exceptions: the priest at the Offertory goes to (your) right to mix the water with the wine and wash his hands, after communion he goes to there to perform the second ablution. And the Last Gospel is read at the side of the altar (your left )

Whenever the priest turns he is either saying Dominus vobiscum, Orate Fratres, or the words for communion (in some places the Confiteor, etc. then the Ecce Agnus Dei, etc.) At the end, he says Ite, Missa Est also facing you

If he’s at the bottom, he’s saying the prayers at the foot of the altar.

Introit- your right
Kyrie/Gloria- center.
Collect- right, priest’s hands extended (though I don’t know whether it’ll be visible to you)
Epistle to Alleluia – your right- hands on the missal (though this won’t be visible)
Gospel- your left
Creed- center
Offertory: first period of extended silence. Plus the servers will be at the corner assisting the priest

Mary,

Can’t provide you with tips better than the ones already presented to you here, but I hope you will enjoy educating your young ones with the Mass as they get older. Missals and prayer books make beautiful Christmas gifts. :wink:

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