Help with a good hand missal for the Novus Ordo

I got a question from a reader:

I am new to the Church so please forgive me if this is a stupid question. I have ordered a 1962 Missal ( your reviews were so good I decided to get both the Angelus and Baronius editions) but are there Missals for the Novus Ordo as well? I sometimes attend a Latin mass near me but also attend a very reverent NO mass as well. If possible I would like to use a missal there as well since I really don’t like the paper back ones stuck in the pew, and would also like to study the readings beforehand.

I know that there is a good  hand missal produced, I believe, by Opus Dei, called the Daily Roman Missal.

However, I have a hard time recommending anything for the Novus Ordo right now because, as we speak, the English translations of our liturgical texts is being updated.  Any book that uses the lame-duck ICEL texts is itself a lame-duck.

Perhaps some of our readers have ideas.

For now we can limit ourselves to English language resources.

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  1. I still use the little black hand missal from Paulist (isn’t it?), the Vatican II Missal. Sad to say, one doesn’t really NEED the Latin text. I have the Scepter (Opus Dei) Roman Missal with me here in Rome because the Latin IS handy here for following the Italian.

    Reader, the little black missal is inexpensive enough in the plain cloth binding that you won’t resent the lame duck ICEL text too much when you have to replace it. Buying the Scepter volume now (which runs $50 or so) would leave you cranky.

  2. Father Ethan says:

    I recommend a missal they have at the Midwest Theological Forum. Just google “Midwest Theological Forum” and it will take you to the site. Click on missals on the left side.

    This missal is great because it is in both Latin and English.

    Praise be Jesus!

  3. Fr. Ethan: it is in both Latin and English

    Do you know which English translation is used?

  4. Marysann says:

    Father Ethan, if I am not mistaken, the Midwest Theological Forum missal is the Opus Dei Roman Missal. I use it’s baby brother, the Handbook of Prayers. It has the ICEL English translation for the Mass and the Latin, but it has no readings. Since we do not live in the US and often go to Mass in a language that we do not know, I have an old Vatican II Sunday Missal published by the Paulists in 1974. When I use it at a Mass in English, I just cringe at the translations of the readings. While I was working at our parish in Virginia in 2001, a new convert asked me for a recommendation for a good daily missal. I told him not to waste his money at that time, because there was going to be a new English translation of the Mass soon. When we were home last year, I saw this guy at church. He was carrying his Scepter Press Roman Missal. We had a good laugh over that. I have a Baronius for the 1962 Mass, but I am still waiting for the new English translation before I sink my money into a missal.

  5. Personally, I’d subscribe to Magnificat until the dust settles. You can get a leather cover especially made for it, and none will be the wiser.

  6. jack burton says:

    I had the “Daily Roman Missal” published by OSV and it was out of date five years ago (the last time I used it). The many options in the novus ordo can make it more difficult to follow along compared to the extraordinary form and the lectionary in that hand missal didn’t reflect the NAB. If I’m not mistaken it uses the Jerusalem version. Nonetheless it was a very fine missal.

  7. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Do as I did: buy a Sacramentary (i.e. the ICEL trans(muti)lation of the Roman Missal).

    I’m only half-joking. I did buy one, but not as a daily Missal. For starters, it doesn’t have the readings for the Liturgy of the Word. Plus, you’d probably look silly with something the size of a college textbook in your hands at Mass. It might also be unnerving to a priest who isn’t rubrically-inclined to see someone following along in the official book. ;)

    But it was a good investment for me, since I’m a liturgically-minded layman.

  8. Dennis Martin says:

    The Scepter Press Daily Roman Missal is good, except that it does not have the Latin for all the propers and it has a fairly sizeable number of typographic errors (unless these have been corrected since the edition I had from about 2000). And of course, Fr. Z. is right, the English translations are lame-duck, but then, if it’s going to be a number of years yet before the new translations are finally approved and a year or so after that before new editions of the hand missals incorporating them appear, it might make sense to get the Scepter Press missal now.

    Magnificat does have the Latin for the Ordinary, I think, but not the propers.

    But there’s an alternative? If one only plans on attending Latin Sunday Mass (how many places have the Ordinary Form in Latin on weekdays????), then the Gregorian Sunday Missal from Solesmes has only the Sunday and major feast day propers in both Latin and English (the excrable 1970 ICEL translations) but has the advantage of also offering chant notation.

  9. GCC Catholic says:

    For studying the readings beforehand, one possibility is simply looking up the readings on the USCCB website. They have it available here:

  10. Henry Edwards says:

    Personally, I’d subscribe to Magnificat until the dust settles. You can get a leather cover especially made for it, and none will be the wiser.

    I couldn’t agree. It’s more beautifully produced (in red and black) than any published missal (either EF or OF), has the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) in both English and Latin — which ordinary parishes all over are beginning to use — plus the English translations (ICEL, of course) of the four Eucharistic Prayers, and all the proper prayers and readings (English only) all collected together in sequence for each day of the month. Aside from 1962 missals for EF folks, the Magnificat is surely the most beautiful and inspiring “worship aid” around. Beyond comparison with the trashy throwaway missalettes commonly seen in pews. Indeed, I’d never throw one of my monthly Magnificats one away, so the stacks of my old ones just keep growing.

    A final note: If you don’t want to invest $39.95 initially for a year’s subscription — 12 monthly issues plus separate ones for Christmas and Holy Week, most Catholic bookstores sell individual issues at $3.95 each, so you can try it out before taking the plunge.

  11. Matt says:

    I wholey recommend the Magnificat as well.

    It is a great resource for a devout life.


  12. Bruce T. says:

    It wouldn’t hurt to invest in the Daily Roman Missal by Midwest Theological, Scepter, and Our Sunday Visitor. It is good, although would have been better if the collects and prefaces were given in Latin, too. The “lame duck” translation is going to be around for a few more years as I understand, so you’ll get good use out of the Missal. And who knows, it’s been 8 years since they started the new translation. Enough will pass for tanother generation of lame duck supporters to try to save the duck. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the duck makes a miraculous recovery and lives on indefinitely. It’s frankly ridiculous to wait so long for this duck to die.

  13. JBD says:

    Please remember that Midwest Theological Forum produces the Daily Roman Missal. That is seperate from Opus Dei completely. Fr. James Socias is very quick to point this out if you ever ask him!

  14. Bailey Walker says:

    The “Daily Roman Missal” published by the Midwest Theological Forum which is indeed affiliated with Opus Dei (there is a dedication to St. Josemaría Escrivá in the front) is very useful. There is a smaller size which is appropriate for use “in the pew.” I have the larger size which is more useful for home use. There is a full Latin and ICEL English Ordinary. Plus all the Sunday and Weekday Masses complete with Readings including the Proper of Seasons, Proper of Saints, Common Masses, Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, Votive Masses, and Masses for the Dead. Both the Latin and ICEL English for the Entrance Antiphon, Responsorial Antiphon, Verse before the Gospel, and Communion Antiphon are included. Readings and Orations are English only. There is a very complete Devotions and Prayers section at the back which is essentially a reprint of the pocket-sized “Handbook of Prayers” also published by MTF.

    There is a section from the Catechism provided for the readings for Sundays and Holydays.

    Until the next official English translation of the Missal is available, this would be a very worthy and useful choice.

    Oremus pro invicem.

    Bailey Walker

    P.S. I am not affiliated with Opus Dei or the Midwest Theological Forum although I admit that my use of this Missal has made me more appreciative of their contribution to the Church.

  15. Bruce t: Enough will pass for tanother generation of lame duck supporters to try to save the duck. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the duck makes a miraculous recovery and lives on indefinitely. It’s frankly ridiculous to wait so long for this duck to die.

    The lame-duck truly is a dead duck walking. It is simply a matter of patience now.

  16. SR says:

    To assist with some of the confusion from above: Scepter and Midwest Theological Forum are both associated with Opus Dei in some manner, and offer exactly the same missal. Our Sunday Visitor offers the very same missal, too. A Fr. James Socias is the editor. Currently the missal is available in a number of formats (bonded leather, real leather, hard back, large print). My original copy from 2000 or so had the Jerusalem Bible readings and was quite good. Now it is only available in the NAB, but it incorporates the various prayers and devotions from “The Handbook of Prayers” (also edited by Fr. Socias) in the back of the volume, which is as good a prayerbook as I have seen.

    The ordinary of the Mass is included, on facing pages in both Latin and English. I believe the prefaces are English only (I don’t have it in front of me). The readings are English only, but the entrance and communion antiphons, as well as the few seasonal sequences are all in Latin/English.

    It is very beautifully published, and a little larger than the Baronius Press EF missal. Highly recommended.

  17. jaykay says:

    Is there a hand-sized NO daily missal available anywhere COMPLETELY in Latin?

  18. Seminarian says:


    I am a seminarian. Unfortunately my seminary is not yet very friendly to the usus antiquor (although several faculty members are). I have the FSSP and the SSPX training materials, but I need some help with getting a burse, veil, pall, purificator, corporal and paten. I am using makeshift cardboard versions of the burse, paten and pall (and host) and handkerchiefs for makeshift veil and corporal. I use a martini glass as a makeshift chalice. Unfortunately the makeshift versions don’t work very well (i.e. the “paten” gets stuck when I try to put it under the “corporal”) and it makes it hard to practice. Is there anyone out there who could help me with any of these items? If you can, please send me an email to

  19. Chris T. says:

    I have found the gilding on the MTF missal gets beat up very, very fast. My copy looks rather ugly. Then again, it gets taken all over the country.

    But other than that, I’ve been happy with it. I can’t imagine anyone publishing a Latin-English missal with any other translations in it; most folks will want it to follow the vernacular Mass. As others have mentioned, though, the MTF used to be available with Jerusalem Bible readings or RNAB. Now I think it is only RNAB.

    Worth the investment for the two or three years it’ll take for new missals to come out and the two or three more it’ll take for some parishes to actually buy them and start using them.

  20. magdalen says:

    I have subscribed to the MAGNIFICAT monthly missal almost from the first.
    I recommend it for the Novus Ordo.

    Ave Maria!

  21. Ian says:

    You can get the Magnificat here or the Daily Roman Missal if you want. We are going to be sending all of the people who have ordered a missal from us a coupon for 10% off a replacement missal when the new one is published.

  22. Mark M says:

    The Opus Dei one is the Midwest Theological Forum one, is the Our Sunday Visitor one. Whatever you know it under, I would heartily recommend it. It uses a conservative translation for the readings, and features 300 pages of prayers, etc., at the back. There is lots of Latin throughout. :)

  23. Papabile says:

    Someone mentioned that the Collects and Prefaces are not in Latin in the Daily Roman Missal.

    I have the Second American Edition dating from 1994, and it contains all Prefaces in both Latin and English.

  24. RichR says:

    I used to be in the pro-RotR camp. The Schola Cantorum I sing in even bought a $600 Latin Sacramentary (2002 ed. tert. typica), and Ignatius Press generously donated 300 worship aids (Mass of Vatican II). We’ve used it on 3 occasions…that’s it. Even though we are always making ourselves available for a Latin N.O. Mass, we’ve had very few bites. There just isn’t that much interest in our neck of the woods. The people who want Latin are now more interested in a EFRR Mass rather than a Latin OFRR Mass.

    Bottom line, I don’t think that I’d see any point, both as a publisher and as a pewsitter, in buying a Latin Missal for the OFRR. It may just collect dust.

  25. Martin says:

    First: *Let there be no mistake: the latest edition of the Daily Roman Missal (unlike previous editions) utilizes the “Revised New American Bible” ( not the Jerusalem, as previously) for its lectionary readings…*

    Second: My understanding is that the Lectionary translations are NOT in danger of being changed as a result of the revision of the rest of the Mass in the wake of the third *editio typica* of the Novus Ordo Missae, so I’m not sure to what extent having the current Missal (which is largely used solely or mostly to follow along with the lectionary readings) will be all that much of a hindrance, even *after* the much-anticipated changes of translation have finally been established for the Ordinary, Prefaces, Collects, etc.

    Note that I’m a little unsure as to the second point, but I can attest with certainty to the first.

  26. Martin says:

    P.S. I should also have noted that the “Revised New American Bible” used in the present version of the Daily Roman Missal is the precise version that is used throughout the U.S. for the Novus Ordo readings in English.

  27. Matt Q says:

    Ian wrote:

    “You can get the Magnificat here or the Daily Roman Missal if you want. We are going to be sending all of the people who have ordered a missal from us a coupon for 10% off a replacement missal when the new one is published.”


    **We**? You work for AquinasAndMore? How cool. I have always liked that website. I think that’s very kind of you to offer a gesture of compensation for to the change in Novus Ordo missal.

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