A Catholic Missal Uses
The Douay-Rheims Bible Translation

Catholic Missal: Latin Mass Daily, Sunday, and Children's MissalsA Latin Mass Catholic Missal makes it easier to follow the Mass prayers.

Comparing Catholic Missals

Which traditional Catholic Missal is the best Latin Mass Missal?

  • New Marian? (Angelus, Baronius, Loreto, etc.)
  • Lasance?
  • St. Andrew
  • 1962

These four all generally have used the Douay-Rheims Bible wherever they quote the Bible. Check yours. A good one will use the Douay-Rheims Bible whether it is a Sunday Missal or a Daily Missal. 

Think about it. What sense does it make to use an old Missal with new Bible quotes? None.

Being the first Biblical "thought for the day" book, the Missal has scripture readings for every day through the year. It may well be the dearest book you will ever own. Mine is. In general, the Missal is the most used book at our house for sure.

Jump to these sections below for ideas about choosing a Missal:

  1. Traditional Missals - Children, New Marian, Lasance, Angelus, Baronius.
  2. Out of print Missals - New Marian, St. Andrew (with Douay)
  3. How to tell - Selecting a Daily Missal. Which one is best?
  4. Matters of trust

Which Missal To Use? 1962 or Earlier?

It depends on which Mass you attend. (I know. That's an awful statement about "the" Mass).

The New Marian Missal, enjoys the most popular support and has the most versions in print. Both the Baronius Press version and the Angelus Press versions of the 1962 Catholic Missal use the New Marian. All three use the Douay Bible for the Sunday and Daily Propers. You will be able to follow along quite well at Fraternal Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX), Fraternal Society of Saint Peter (FSSP), and other traditional Latin Masses with these books.

Where it gets tricky:

  • There are some SSPX and FSSP priests that use the earlier Missals.
  • Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have given some congregations explicit permission to use old Missals. 
  • Also, some orders like the traditional Benedictines have been able to keep their Missal from before 1962.

What's the main difference between traditional Missals?

The main difference with the older Missals is that, as early as 1948, Bugnini was busy removing many readings from the Proper of the Day and many ceremonies from the newer and newer Missals. If you own an older Missal, you'll have the right prayers; but you'll have to hop through some  - especially during Holy Week because Bugnini and his buddies were busy removing as many prayers as they could as quickly as they could.

In effect, the "official" 1962 is not much different from the 1956 or 1958 versions.

For twenty years an old Missal (1953?) was all that I had had. It had been a gift from my parents, thank God; so I simply learned to navigate through the extra prayers when a priest was using a newer Missal. If I was at a sung Mass I had time to read the extra prayers, which is wonderful! Otherwise, it's fairly simple to skip to wherever the priest is reading if you pay attention to the first words of the next Latin prayer or if you look for proper nouns with their revealing capital letters.

The old New Marian, Lasance, and St. Andrew Missals were wonderful, and the reprints have near zero changes from the versions reprinted from the 1940s and 1950s. The pictures, or images, are lovely and instructive. The Lasance is particularly excellent for boys who want to be altar boys because the pictures in the Ordinary of the Mass show the main action of the server at the correct moments.

Still wondering which Missal to use?

Ask your priest which Missal he uses or recommends so that you can make your decision better. If you go to different Masses due to travel, etc., you might want an older Missal so you would have all, or more, of the prayers. In this case you would not have some of the 1962 (or 1970?!) feast days - I'm not sure which ones these would have been but I think that there are a few like Mother Cabrini's feast day which before 1970 was on the date she died or entered Heaven, December 22. The 1970 calendar moved the date to November 13. I have no idea why. Nor do I know why a "1962" book would use an element from the 1970 Liturgical Calendar.

The main time the different calendars would be a challenge is for daily Masses, or the temporal cycle with its feast days as with St. Frances Cabrini's feast day. If you know the old date you're set; if there is no Mass proper use one of the Common Propers to have most of the prayers. This way, if you already have an older book, you won't need to buy a new version. (It would be a huge study to keep track of the date changes throughout these many years.)

The specifically "1962" Missals with the Douay scripture quotes are the Baronius and the Angelus versions. I share some comparisons between these Missals below.

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1. Uses the 1958 calendar, virtually the same as the 1962 Catholic Missal.

2. Uses the 1945 calendar with some noted additions. Wonderful pictures.

3. Uses some 1970 dates (Cabrini), maintains priest and sacrifice in rubrics.

4. Uses the 1962 dates, changed priest to celebrant and sacrifice to celebrate.

1. Latin-English Catholic Missals In Publication

You'll want to find a Catholic Missal that has a good translation of the Ordinary which is the part often found in the center of a Catholic Missal that is said for every Mass, both Sundays and weekdays.

A clue to a good Ordinary translation is the Judica me, the first prayer. The Douay uses:

  • "Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from a nation that is not holy". 

If the text reads otherwise, try to source whence it came. Hint: It's likely to be a 1940s Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) or New American Bible (NAB) translation.

Why does the translation matter?

The Catholic Mass encompasses all the basic Catholic beliefs. "Lex orandi, Lex credendi." We believe what we pray, so it is important to buy a Missal that teaches the Catholic Faith using Catholic terms. The Bible is a huge source of what we believe. Beware versions that use unisex language and paraphrases like the CCD and NAB.

There are so many old Missals that it is super hard to compare them all. Even in different editions of the same version there are many un-documented changes. The best place to start is to determine which Bible was used and if the Ordinary prayers are good.

Now to add to this difficulty. Try helping different children with different Missals! 'Kind of tricky. . . . Here are some suggestions:

A. Catholic Missal For Children - My Mass Book

1990s My Mass Book By Neumann Press

Childs Missal My Mass Book From Neumann Press or TAN BooksMy Mass Book Child's Missal

First, let's talk about finding a child's Catholic Missal. There are many and they often have a child's version of the Ordinary. 

What I like about My Mass Book as published by Neumann Press is that the one published in the 1990s had the exact same English prayers as the adult Missal.

  • It also had excellent pictures that showed where the priest is on the altar. 
  • It explained some prayers in the Mass nicely.
  • Gave the usual prayers for Eucharistic devotion.
  • And even the prayers for other Sacraments like 
  • The Baptism ceremony. 

You'll love this book as it skips the fluff in other books. I hope that current or future editions remain the same.

My Mass Book For Altar Boys

My Mass Book was an excellent book for boys hoping to become altar servers because they could see what the priest and altar boys are doing in the pictures. The pictures help them see and follow the Mass. 

During Mass the children often cannot see over adults to see what is happening, yet when they hear the bell they could go to the picture of the server ringing the bell. 

Also, the pictures are fairly well spaced for matching the speed at which a priest goes through a Low Mass.

Size of My Mass Book

One drawback is that My Mass Book can be a bit long lengthwise when shorter children are kneeling as the book hits the pew in front of them; yet the better text was worth it for our family. 

You may like giving your children a smaller book till the time when they can handle a larger "real" Missal and they are better ready to read the text.

TAN Books now sells My Mass Book by Neumann Press at Amazon

The Fr. Lasance Missal is an excellent Catholic book for children due to the wonderful pictures of the Mass, although it is best for older children who can handle a nearly Bible sized book. See its description below.

B. The New Marian Daily Missal

My first experience using a Missal was with a New Marian Daily Missal.

It remains my favorite, because it uses the Douay translation, has beautiful prayers, and is easy to read - especially for sung Masses or dialog Masses. The Gloria and Credo are easy to "answer" in the New Marian and Baronius as the phrases are divided in the correct places. The St. Andrew and Lasance do not have this format because it is new for the Catholic laity to sing or dialog the Mass responses.

When I first read the opening prayer, "Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man." I was in love with the Mass. My heart rejoiced, "This is beautiful!" For years it was the line I used to judge whether a Missal was good or not. Some newer versions' text reads like a spoiled brat wrote the paraphrase, "Do me justice...."

I find that the New Marian Missal has as good or better a layout than the Lasance, is much easier to hold, and does not have some of the changes that the Angelus Press version has. Catholic Free Shipping and Loreto Publications have been alternative sources for the New Marian, too. Just recently in 2019 I was able to buy a nearly unused copy for half the price of a new Missal. Keep searching! :-)

Other features of the New Marian are:

  • The Douay-Rheims version of both the Epistles and Gospels, etc.
  • Lovely prayers, especially the Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
  • Beautiful woodcut pictures for the main holy days and feast days.

I have used all of the above Missals and treasure the New Marian Missal most. The oldest one we own is an early 1950s version. I would love to have the original 1947 New Marian Missal from before Bugnini's 1948 changes. I hope these notes help you to find one.

There are many reprints and publications of The New Marian Missal, so shop around and keep the observations from this page in mind. 

C. Fr. Lasance New Roman Catholic Missal

The New Roman Missal by Fr. Lasance that I own is a reprint of a 1945 Catholic Missal by Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance and has wonderful prayers in the back. Some of my favorite features are that it uses:

  • The Douay-Rheims version of both the Epistles and Gospels, etc.
  • Latin and English for the Epistles and Gospels.
  • Complete Propers so you do not have to flip back and forth in the book.
  • Stories of the saints in the back organized by calendar date. 
  • The complete Angel of God prayer.
  • Lovely versions of the prayers.
  • Clear pictures of the priest's movements at Mass. Great for altar boys.
  • Beautiful woodcut pictures for the main holy days and feast days.

A major consideration, though, is how heavy the book is. It is also so large that it can be hard for small children and oldsters to handle. For those of us in between, it is an excellent choice in spite of being a bit awkward.

You can buy the Lasance Missal at Amazon.

Refuge of Sinners publishing has a version, too.

Winter 2019: A reader was kind to write to let me know that Amazon was out of Lasance Missals. I was glad she wrote. A very popular blogger (Dr. Taylor Marshall) promoted it recently which is possibly why there's been a rush of people buying the Lasance Missal.

I've spent quite a bit of time searching the internet and am finding that it is sold out in over five regular places outside Amazon and Ebay (OLVS, St. Bonaventure, El Camino Real, and others).

I am seeing that the publisher expects to publish it again soon, so I think you'll be able to get the Lasance soon.

  • The New Roman Missal by Fr. Lasance is now out of stock and is being reprinted by the publisher. They expect to have it completed in early February.

Spring 2019: Yea! It's back in publication. 

D. Baronius Catholic Missal

The Baronius Press Catholic Missal uses a similar text as above. It is based on the New Marian Missal by Sylvester Juergens, S. M.

Baronius newly added the Kyriale in the back as the congregation had not joined in singing the Liturgical hymns until the days of the Dialog Mass in the 1940s.

  • Douay Epistles, Gospels, etc. 
  • Kyriale in the back.
  • Instructional notes before the readings. 
  • Wood cut pictures for the main feast days.
  • Notes from the Imitation of Christ at the end of most Propers.
  • Some of the dates are from the 1970 calendar (Cabrini November 13).

One thing you'll really like is the soft thin ribbons as they are not so likely to cut your pages as quickly as the thicker ribbons of most newly published Missals - especially if you use a Missal cover that zips tightly.

You can buy the Baronius Missal at Amazon.

What's nice for gifts is that Baronius offers both black and white Missals. The white is especially nice for girls and as First Communion, Confirmation, and wedding gifts.

E. Angelus 1962 Catholic Daily Missal

Angelus Press' Catholic Missal also uses what used to be in the 1940s and 50s The New Marian Missal by Sylvester Juergens, S. M.

Again, like the Baronius, Angelus Press added the Kyriale to the back pages and is very similar to the Baronius (above).

  • Douay Epistles, Gospels, etc. 
  • Instructional notes before the readings. 
  • Kyriale included.
  • Beautiful wood cut style pictures for the main feast days.
  • Notes from the Imitation of Christ at the end of most Propers.
  • Some of the dates are from the 1970 calendar, yet added in a separate section behind the Propers of the Saints.

In comparison, I think that the current publication has a nice binding that makes it easy to handle at Mass.

I would prefer that they would have put the English translation on the outside because it is harder to read down in the spline of the book. Perhaps it is designed for priests and religious who may appreciate the Latin being easier to read.

The same goes for the Ordinary. They could have put the commentary in the center leaving the prayers easier to read and to pray. 

More importantly, there are surprising changes as in the rubrical notes in the first pages of the Mass and other places  as compared to the 1953 Juergens version (see below):

  • The Angelus version removed the term "sacrifice" and replaced it with the term "celebrate" or "celebration".  "Priest" was replaced by "celebrant".
  • The Creed has several changes from the New Marian or the Lasance: "of one substance with the Father" instead of "consubstantial with the Father"; "became flesh" instead of "BECAME INCARNATE"; "And on the third day" instead of "and the third day"; "He will come" instead of "He shall come"; "and of His kingdom there will be no end" instead of "of whose kingdom there shall be no end"; "I believe in the Holy Ghost" instead of "And in the Holy Ghost"; "Who proceeds from" instead of "proceeding from"; "Who spoke through the prophets" instead of "who spoke by the prophets"; "baptism for the forgiveness of sins" instead of "baptism for the remission of sins"; "I await" instead of "I expect" or "I look for".  - This is the Creed. With differences from the old New Marian.
  • "Accept" is changed to "Receive" at the Offertory.
  • In the concluding doxology "by Him" is changed to "through Him"; yet it retains "by Him" in the Creed and in the Last Gospel - twice, "through him" referencing St. John. 

Anyway, these are just some things to consider if you buy the Angelus 1962 Catholic Missal at Amazon.


F. Missal Covers

You'll want to protect your investment in your Catholic Missal. How?

The Sisters who taught our children recommended that we use Missal covers on the children's Missals and we are so glad we followed their advice. Covers help protect from water damage and breakage.

Hint: Be sure to give the ladies the exact measurements of your particular Missal, as the Missal companies change sizes from year to year and different publishers' Missal versions are sized differently.

We are so glad we listened to the Sisters because our Missals are lasting through years of sometimes daily use.

Another benefit is that differently colored covers help each of us find our own as we get ready for Mass. Here are my favorites:

  • Zippered Bible and Missal covers - Custom designed for your Bible, Liber, Missal, child's Missal, or any other book you treasure.
  • Genuine leather Missal covers - Shipped from England. You'll receive the VAT tax discount and can buy lovely rosary cases and ribbon markers. I love their best selling leather pocket oratories!

2. Old Catholic Missals - Oldies, But Goodies

If you find these old Catholic Missals online, or at bookstores, thrift shops, and yard sales; you'll be glad to know that they have the Douay Bible references, too. They're full of wonderful pictures, timely quotes, and descriptions of the Mass ceremonies.

These are getting harder to find every day, but you might be able to find them at a more discounted price than before the publishers began publishing Missals.

A. The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, 1945

The Saint Andrew Daily Missal from 1945 by Dom Gaspar Lefebvre, OSB, was a staple amongst traditional Catholics for many years until publishers began re-typesetting Missals in the 1990s. 

You'll love their guarantee for the sake of certitude:

"Please note, when we reprint a book, the content of the book is unchanged, it is printed exactly as it was when originally printed. The only change we make is the first page, which contains our publishing information."

Do beware that there are at least two versions of the St. Andrew's Missal:

  1. As of 2019, the St. Bonaventure Catholic Missal uses the Douay-Rheims Bible in the readings, while 
  2. Other versions use the paraphrased Confraternity for Christian Doctrine version of the Bible (CCD) which later morphed to be the New American Bible (NAB).

The Missal in the pictures above used the Douay translation, which is why it has been so well trusted. It has:

  • Douay Epistles, Gospels, etc. 
  • Latin and English scriptures.
  • Vespers and Kyriale in the back. (The first hand Missal to include the Kyriale because it was designed for religious to use.)
  • Stories of the saints and feasts. 
  • Beautiful pictures for the larger feasts.
  • Some of the dates are from the 1970 calendar.
  • It has five colored bookmark ribbons and guilt edges.

You might prefer the newer Missals as there is a lot of page turning between Propers in this book as not all of the Epistles and Gospels are spelled out for each day. This is very confusing for younger children and can be noisy in church. Not to mention that some of the feasts are different.

The Saint Andrew Daily Missal is still in publication by St. Bonaventure Publications at Libers.com.

B. The New Marian Missal, 1947 (1953 Imprimatur)

Here's an oldie but goodie: The New Marian Missal For Daily Mass was first published in 1947 and bears a 1953 Imprimatur by Frances Cardinal Spellman.

You might want to peruse the interior pages before you buy a Missal, so I have included pictures below. The first one is a photo of an actual old Catholic Missal (1953). You can click on the small Missal images to go to a gallery of large photos.

3. Discerning A Good Catholic Missal

Most of the daily Missals on this page have similar features. A Missal for children or a Sunday Missal will not have the daily propers. For adults I recommend the larger daily Missals as, even though you might only go to Mass on Sundays now, you might someday have the opportunity to go more often. Retirement anyone? 

On many days there are several choices for the daily readings (Proper of the Season or the saints feast days) depending whether the day is in a season like

  • Advent, 
  • Lent, or 
  • Paschal Tide; 
  • Or if the date falls on Sunday; 
  • Or whether two saints share the same feast day. 
  • Most days have their own Proper making the Missal the original daily meditation book.

Latin Mass Missals help you follow the Mass and they sometimes explain the Liturgy. They usually have the main Catholic prayers. You can also learn about the holy days and the feast days. Some even include short Lives of the Saints.

What's wonderful is that you can use these Missals year after year as the traditional Liturgical Calendar does not change much. Certainly no figuring whether you're on Year A, B, or C.

A Missal is also an excellent Confirmation gift for children who are old enough to have the responsibility of using such an important book, and for converts who are entering the Church as adults.

If you're comparing Missals, you can find the widest selection at Amazon including the 1945 Fr. Lasance New Roman Catholic Missal, The New Marian Daily Missal, and the 1962 Baronius and Angelus Missals. Each of them is a Daily Missal and has the info you would want in a Sunday Missal because it is a subset of the daily.

A Catholic Missal uses the Douay Rheims Bible quotes.Douay Rheims Bible

Finding the best Catholic Missal, a Daily Missal, Sunday Missal, or 1962 Missal, can be a real trick since most publishers or bookstores do not sell a variety of Missals. They find a version they like, usually the best that they could find, and they print a reproduction of it.

Then they want to recoup their money.

Are you choosy?

As long as they printed the prayers and readings intact there are several easy litmus test questions to consider in selecting a Catholic Missal (there's no way to catch all the revisions, omissions, and insertions - someone would have to fess up or two astute proof readers would have to compare the texts of thousands of pages):

  1. Does the Missal use the Douay-Rheims translation for the scripture readings? How does it "translate" Bible quotes like the Psalm 'Judica me' at the beginning of the Ordinary of the Mass?
  2. Also, how does it word prayers such as "Adoro te devote" by St. Thomas Aquinas on the feast of Corpus Christi?
  3. Another big "red flag waving" is the artwork. Is it respectful? Or magic-marker art?

See more on these issues below:

3A. Douay-Rheims Bible Readings VS. The Confraternity Version

The Vulgate by St. Jerome is still the only "official" Catholic Bible. The Douay-Rheims version is the closest version in English and it's been in use for centuries and was the only "version" till the 1930s and 40s.

There are many places where paraphrased Bible versions like the Confraternity version (Confraternity for Christian Doctrine, CCD) contradict or diminish the words' meanings from the readings in the Douay. Comparing Bible verses is a helpful test in finding a good Missal (or Lectionary for that matter).

  • During Advent St. John the Baptist insists that we do penance. Protestant and other versions like the CCD use "Repent".

The Douay-Rheims Bible uses the word "man" in the classic manner meaning the universal "mankind" (which includes all those with an intellect or will: young or old, male or female, propertied or not, etc.).

  • Many paraphrased versions use unisex words. The CCD was a leader in this in the 1940s.

The Catechism of the Bible says that the Latin variation of a word should be retained in the Bible rather than an Anglicization, for example: 

  • multitude should have been retained instead of changed to crowd (a diminution in meaning as well), 
  • testament instead of covenant (one need not die for a covenant), 
  • adore instead of worship where one can hear the Latin sounds like adore as Father reads it from the altar, etc. 
  • This applies to many more words that are changed in other versions.

3B. Catholic Missal Prayers

Judica Me

The easiest Bible verse to find is the first prayer of the Mass. Check it to compare.

  • Does the Judica Me ask "Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause..." 
  • Or does it command "Do me justice..." (or worse)?

If one can prove there is no change in meaning in the second, one cannot prove that the demeanor of it is more humble. The better translation retains the Catholic disposition in a petition and offers a better reading experience through the year.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you search the Missal prayers to weigh which has the better version. 

The Prayer before a Crucifix

Another Missal prayer to check is the The Prayer before a Crucifix. The Fr. Lasance Catholic Missal uses the better word contrition instead of repentance as found in some Missals.

Adoro Te Devote

The Adoro Te Devote by St. Thomas Aquinas as found on the Feast of Corpus Christi is another good place to look. Some versions use more sensual words in the prayers.

If the words of the prayers betray the sense of the Faith, beware the book.

This is one reason it is so important to learn the best Catholic answers to the catechism. We need to have a way to tell the good books from the bad and the catechism is the best place to start.

The catechism teaches the Apostle's Creed, the Sacraments, the Catholic Ten Commandments and the virtues. If the sense of a text concurs with these then you can have more certitude that the Missal teaches the Faith and prayers well.

3C. Missal Artwork

Catholic Missal ArtworkA Catholic Missal uses beautiful art.

Many times a book that is published by a well financed institutional publisher uses poor artwork. Be on your guard. This is a red flag waving.

Haggard or ugly faces, magic-marker art, or indecent and unusual presentations that distort the Catholic message in the picture, usually indicate a lack of discernment, or a deliberate misstatement about the Faith on the publisher's part[I don't mean those publishers who are struggling to revive the Faith who in good faith did not know that there is a wealth of Catholic art now in the public domain.]

It is well known that there are publishers who have purposely published bad books, and often times bad artwork is a red flag waving to help you discern.

A new trick since the turn of this century is to restore some Catholic elements while removing others. This is exhausting. To wit: the old, the medium, and the new Confiteor - in English, of course.

4. What Makes A Catholic Missal Trustworthy?

A Catholic Missal uses:

  • The Douay-Rheims Bible translation in the Propers and the Ordinary of the Mass
  • The prayers retain a sense of humble sacrifice to the Blessed Trinity. 
  • Beautiful prayers are well worded.
  • And beautiful artwork. This is easy to scan for a general impression. 

Truth is the most important thing to consider. Truth first. Do the words themselves reflect the Word of God, or are they paraphrases?

Translations of prayers in a good Catholic Missal do have some room for legitimate variety, especially if the translator comes from a different country, for example: England, France, Germany or Spain.

You'll probably agree that there is no room for purposefully different "versions".

See my list of red-flag catechism sightings to see how "minor" revisions and omissions are not required by law to be marked or to have the copyright and publication information changed. In this day of easy electronic manipulation one needs to be able to compare against the standard of Catholic principles: truth, beauty, modesty (in words as well as in images).

Latin Missal Video: Dr. Taylor Marshall

Here's an interesting overview of Dr. Marshall's reason for preferring a Fr. Lasance Missal to the Angelus. He acknowledges that the Lasance is not updated, but shows that it's not too hard to stay with the priest on most days. 

Latin Mass Hand Missal Review: Which is the BEST?
~Dr. Taylor Marshall

Keep true Catholic principles in mind when you're searching for a Catholic Missal.

Then say a prayer to Saint Anthony. :-)

You might also like these pages:

Thank you for visiting Saint Anne's Helper!

~Mary

Buy A Traditional Catholic Missal - Check For The Douay Translation

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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Uses the 1958 calendar, virtually the same as the 1962 Catholic Missal.

2. Uses the 1945 calendar with some noted additions. Wonderful pictures.

3. Uses some 1970 dates (Cabrini), maintains priest and sacrifice in rubrics.

4. Uses the 1962 dates, changed priest to celebrant and sacrifice to celebrate.

Catholic Missal with cover and rosary: Mass prayers, daily Bible readings, Catholic prayers.It's easier to follow the Mass with a Catholic Missal.


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