Sunday, April 08, 2012

Survey of Hand Missals in Print – Third Edition

Tridentine Community News (April 8, 2012):
This week we are running an updated version of the column that continues to generate the most requests for reprints: A comparison of all of the Hand Missals for the Extraordinary Form which are currently in print. We separate them into three categories: Those which fully reflect the 1962 rubrics and Propers; those which were originally published between 1955-61 and contain the 1955 Holy Week changes; and those published before 1955. While meritorious in many ways, pre-1955 missals contain a version of Holy Week that is substantially different from that which current regulations require to be celebrated. In addition, nomenclature, certain Feast Days, and Commemorations for the Tridentine Calendar have changed. Whereas older missals refer to certain Feasts with terms such as “Double” or “Semi-double”, the 1962 rubrics simply assign each Feast a rank between one and four.

Up-to-Date 1962 Missals

The second edition of the Roman Missal (1962), a.k.a. the Baronius Press Missal ( (814) 414-0245, $59.95) was published in 2007, in cooperation with the Fraternity of St. Peter. It is based on Fr. Sylvester Juergens’ Ideal Missal, also the basis of the Marian Missal. Unlike the Marian, it has full Latin and English Propers, including proper Feasts for the U.S. and U.K. It has the distinction of being the only newly-published Tridentine hand missal with an imprimatur.

The 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, a.k.a. the Angelus Press Missal (, (800) 966-7337, $63.00) was published in 2004 and resembles the Baronius Missal in many ways. It is also based on the Ideal Missal. Unlike the Baronius, the Angelus Press Missal includes the proper Feasts for Canada. Whatever one thinks of its publisher, the Society of St. Pius X, one cannot deny that they did a fine job assembling this missal. However, both it and the Baronius Missal carry over most of the (relatively few) typographical errors from the Ideal Missal.

The 1962 edition of My Sunday Missal, a.k.a. the Fr. Stedman Missal, has just been republished in 2012 by Neumann Press (, (800) 746-2521, $25.95). Note that PCP Books has also reprinted My Sunday Missal, but their version is the 1940 edition and thus not recommended. This is the most compact hand missal in print, only 3” x 5” x 1” thick and designed to fit in a pocket, made possible because weekday Mass Propers are omitted.

Also new is a reprint of Burns & Oates’ Layman’s Missal & Prayer Book, a similar small Sunday Missal (, (212) 953-5858, $27.95). The Propers are only in English. This is the sole missal which incorporates the revised Good Friday Prayer for the Jews, though oddly some other 1962 changes are omitted. All of the Sacraments are included, along with parts of the Divine Office. Its main drawbacks are the use of non-standard, non-hierarchical English; and that it only includes proper Feasts for the U.K. and not for North America, though that omission would have little impact upon a user.

1955-61 Missals: Almost Up-to-Date

The ubiquitous Marian Missal by Fr. Juergens came in various editions. Some have large print, others have full Latin and English, others have Sundays only and only in English. The one currently in print is a republished 1958 edition (, (603) 239-6671, $39.95). The advantage of the Marian Missal is relatively accurate typesetting and a beautiful collection of devotional prayers. The disadvantage is that in this particular edition, Latin is not provided for all of the Propers.

Two children’s missals have been reprinted: The 1958 Marian Children’s Missal (, (800) 966-7337, $12.95), and the 1959 Saint Joseph Children’s Missal (, (800) 746-2521, $26.95). The former is a literal missal like an adult version; the latter is more of a guidebook to the Mass than a true missal.

Pre-1955 Missals of Interest

The St. Andrew Missal, republished by St. Bonaventure Publications (, (406) 452-5452), $68.00) is a 1952 edition. It has lengthy commentaries on each week’s Mass, and a sizable collection of devotional prayers. The full Latin and English text of every Mass, Sunday and weekday, are provided.

The New Roman Missal, a.k.a. the Fr. Lasance Missal, is a 1945 edition (, $52.95). Similar to the St. Andrew Missal, it is a vast volume, with many devotional prayers and full Latin and English Propers. However, both of these missals suffer from numerous errors in the typesetting of the Propers, worse than any of the alternatives.

The St. Joseph Missal (, (406) 452-5452), $58.00) is a 1953 edition, English only. It is the direct predecessor of today’s Novus Ordo St. Joseph Missal. It has a familiar appearance and sentimental value to many because of its popularity then and now.

Each missal has its advantages and disadvantages. Because none of them, not even the new ones, has done a thorough job of proofreading the Propers, it is not possible to recommend one on the basis of accuracy. If small print is acceptable, the Baronius Missal seems the most complete. If you prefer larger print, look for an (out-of-print) large-print edition of a Marian Missal.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 04/09 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Easter Monday – Divine Mercy Novena follows Mass)

Tue. 04/10 7:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Easter Tuesday)

Fri. 04/13 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Joseph (Easter Friday) [This Mass is part of a bus tour, but all are welcome to attend]

Sun. 04/15 3:00 PM: High Mass at Assumption-Windsor (Low Sunday – Chaplet of Divine Mercy precedes Mass. Confessions heard starting at 2:00 PM. Celebrant: Fr. Patrick Beneteau)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for April 8, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]


Elizabeth said...

Nice overview of missals; thanks for that. What I look for in a missal is not only the Mass, but all the Sacraments and other prayers and devotions. My overall favorite is the Angelus. It has a nice sized print, flexible leather cover and seems to have almost everything I want in a Missal, except maybe the section on Examination of Conscience for Confession. It's too brief for me.

I remember when the Baronius Press one was just coming out; I was really excited to see it and fully planned on it becoming my new favorite since it was published in cooperation with the FSSP. The whole missal might have been fine but, unfortunately, in the Praying the Rosary section, they include the so-called "Luminous Mysteries". I was a little shocked to find this novelty included in an FSSP 1962 Missal and that's all it took for me to go back to the Angelus missal. I know it's just one little section in a large Missal, and a devotion chapter, not the Holy Mass, but with that novelty being included, it just made me a little distrustful of it overall.

Peregrinus said...

I just discovered that the Baronius edition of the hand missal published in 2009 also has the updated prayer for the conversion of the Jewish people on Good Friday. What a beautiful surprise!

Katie said...

Are there any 1962 Missals available in large print?