QUAERITUR: difference between hand missals

From a reader:

I have a quick question if I may. Do you what the differences are, if any, between The New Missal for Every Day and The New Roman Missal by Fr. Lasance? I have the New Roman Missal, but know the other is out there as well. I was wondering if it is orth having both if the one I have currently is fine alone.

Quick to ask, not so quick to answer.

I will let the readers here chime in.

In the meantime, I am glad that you have your own hand missal.  They are treasures.

Some discussion of hand missals could be helpful.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chris says:

    Fr. Lasance is a ’45, no?

    My wife uses it and loves it. I like the St. Andrew’s Daily Missal ’45 edition. It is more thorough than the Fr. Lasance.

  2. I am not Spartacus says:

    I am glad that you have your own hand missal. They are treasures.

    Amen, Fr. I have the Fr. Lasance N.R. Missal and it has an astonishing wealth of information which nine American Catholics are familiar with.

    Right from the get-go it is excellent. From the Introduction by Fr. Lasance, in which he emphasises the Roman Missal is the par excellence,to describing the Liturgy (including its folklore), to how the Mass have been valued in our past, to the four ends (Parts) of the Mass (Which I was learnt to memorise as PART; Petition, Adoration, Reparation, Thanksgiving), to a reprinting of Barnaby Googe’s anti-Catholic doggerel, to , you name it, this Missal is absolutely a treasure.

    I will be using it this Sunday at the 2:00 P.M. Missa Cantata at St. Patrick Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. AFAIK, this is the first such Mass in more than forty years in this part of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida.

    I have been reading the Missal this past week preparing for Mass, marking The Propers etc and I have to say it brings tears to my eyes thinking about what we, collectively, have been deprived of in this country while at the same time bringing me, individually, to immense heights of joy anticipating using this Missal at The Missa Cantata.

    I also have a 1925 Dom Gaspar Lefevbre Daily Missal, a St. Jospeh Missal etc, but I absolutely love The New Roman Missal by FR. Lasance.

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    All “complete” 1962 and earlier Latin-English daily hand missals are substantially equivalent — regarding the Mass texts themselves, differing mostly in the supplementary materials included — and each that I’m familiar with has its devotees. Preferences between them are largely a matter of personal taste.

    A complete daily hand missal has both Latin and English for all the propers and readings, and typically has 1800 pages or more. Examples of “incomplete” daily missals — with some of the propers and readings in English only — are the St. Joseph Daily Missal and the New Marian Missal, which have less than 1500 pages.

    All traditional Latin hand missals have excellent and accurate English translations; the idea of an inaccurate, agenda-driven, or unfaithful English translation is strictly a post-1970 innovation (thus affecting only the newer form of Mass).

    I find it useful when drilling into a Latin proper to consult several different hand missals. Although I personally prefer for use at Mass the style of the newer 1962 missals, I keep the New Roman Missal (Fr. Lasance) at my elbow because it’s English translations are quite literal, though not quite as “slavishly” so as Father Z’s.

  4. Ken says:

    Very similar. I would use the New Roman Missal, as The New Missal for Every Day is not reprinted (and thus more valuable). The New Roman Missal does not have the Divine Office (like the Saint Andrew’s does) and you would have to know the 1962 changes, but it is a great handmissal.

    Father Lasance must have been an outstanding priest. From the section on confession to the prayers before Mass to the prayers after communion, he sure has aided a lot of communicants over the years.

  5. Matt says:

    I was given My Grandfather’s (R.I.P) Young Man’s Guide by Fr. Lasance when a was a teenager. It is a priceles gem. You don’t get good advice from modern “guides”.

    I think the selection of a missal is very subjective based on who will be using it and how much info they want. My son has his first communion coming up on Easter Sunday. He has a rare opportunity to have his first communion at a Missa Solemnis.

    My wife and I are going to get him the St. Joseph daily missal. The pictures and easy explanations are perfect for his age. My wife prefers this missal as well because the English translations are a little easier to comprehend. I have the St. Andrew’s daily missal, but so of the prayers for daily Mass are wrong due to things getting moved around in subsequent revisions of the Missal. The St. Andrews will also be vastly different for Holy Week. The Marian missal is very blah. The translations I find lacking and the Mass is not organized as nicely.

  6. Jim says:

    so if i am looking for my first hand missal, would Fr. Lasance N.R. Missal from 1937 be an okay place to start?

  7. supertradmom says:

    Some in our family use the St. Andrew’s Daily Missal from the 1940s, in which some things have since been revised, and some use the “new” Baronius Press version (1962), which is lovely. I have a four volume St. Andrew’s, which is easy to hold. The individual volumes have a little black slip case.

  8. Chris says:


    I have both. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend the Fr. Lasance.

  9. Jane M says:

    I have two Father Lasance missals, one from 1956 and one from (probably) 1947/1935. The front page is gone so I can’t tell. The translations in the two missals of the prayers of the Mass are not the same. Here is the Hanc Igitur…

    Wherefore, we beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to receive this oblation which we Thy servants, and with us Thy whole family, offer up to Thee: dispose our days in Thy peace: command that we be saved from eternal damnation and numbered among the flock of Thine elect.

    Graciously accept, then, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this service of our worship and that of all Thy household. Provide that our days be spent in Thy peace, save us from everlasting damnation, and cause us to be numbered in the flock Thou has chosen. Through Christ our Lord.

    I have no idea which translation is better but they are somewhat different. Is it obvious which is later?

    The only reason I know about this is that my mother lost her 1947 missal. When I found a 1956 one and bought it for her she was not entirely grateful. She finally explained that it just didn’t seem the same anymore. When we found the earlier missal — lo and behold — it wasn’t.

    The black and white pictures are fabulous but the most beautiful one in the whole missal is not present in the 1956 version because the whole section of the ordinary of the Mass has been changed and re-numbered. I forget why.

  10. Matt says:

    This is just my guess, but based on the use of older English words, the first translation would be the earlier. To me it is more edifying, but harder for someone today to read.

  11. Genna says:

    I have the reprint of the 1945 New Roman Missal, which has the “Wherefore” Hanc Igitur. The introduction is a mine of information about the Mass. It’s how I learned about the ranking of feasts and Sundays. I had never heard of “Doubles of the First Class” “Doubles” and “Simples”. Fascinating. It gives you the knowledge which draws you more closely into the Mass and makes you very much an active participant because you understand not only what the celebrant is doing, but why. Highly recommended! If only we’d had some of this taught at school.

  12. Gloria says:

    The St. Andrew’s 1945 Missal that my Grandmother gave me was falling apart after more than 50 + years, even though it hadn’t been used for a long time. I loved it and ordered a new one when I found a TLM to embrace. Nothing was changed and the same small typos were there. I also bought the 1962 Missal and use that one most of the time, keeping the St. Andrew’s in my car in case I forget the other. Often I use it for reference and certain prayers, as well.

  13. Anthony says:

    Saint Andrew’s Missal is a grand slam.

  14. ssoldie says:

    Whatever Missal you have, I always tell my friends who are interested, open the Missal up to the first page and read it all to the ‘First Sunday in Advent’.There is a world of knowledge in those first pages.Then go to the pages before the aspergs, then go to the pages after the last Gospel and the ending prayers that are said after low Mass. You should find some wonderful prayers for before Mass and the other are wonderful prayers after Holy Communion. I have four, 3 are pre Vatican I, St Andrew, Marian , Roman, and 1 1962 St Joseph. All are wonderfl.

  15. William says:


    Which Propers are in English only, the Major or Minor?

  16. Mike Morrow says:

    IMHO, the recent (2004 and later) “1962” hand missals by Angelus Press and Baronius are the best now available. See Fr. Z’s post on the Angelus Press version at:
    From that, there is a link to a similar post on the Baronius version.

    I used the St. Andrews Missal in the pre-Vatican II days, before Bugnini revolutionaries destroyed the liturgy reflected in it. I now own a re-print of the 1945 edition. It is good for historical purposes, but there were a number of significant changes made by Pius XII in the 1950s and by John XXIII in 1960 to 1962. Holy Week liturgy was particularly altered in the mid-1950s. The “classification terminology” of feasts also changed by 1962.

    I personally prefer the Angelus Press version of the 1962 Missal. It is excellent and very complete, and has generally larger type fonts.

  17. William says:

    I understand that there is some concern regarding the thickness of the paper in the two new missals. Any comments? How does it compare to your Saint Anrew’s missal?

  18. Ken says:

    The FSSP sells three of the popular handmissals mentioned above — although your parish may have a book-lady, as ours does, who buys in bulk and can sell you one at a reduced price:

  19. Mike Morrow says:


    Any hand missal that is reasonably complete and that has Latin/English Propers will consist of about 2000 pages (1000 sheets).

    The Angelus MR1962 hand missal overall is about 30 percent thinner than the St. Andrew’s of 1945 and the first version of the Baronius MR1962. These last two missals have paper that is about the same thickness as in my 1956 St. Andrew’s that I used pre-Vatican II.

    Thus, the paper of the Angelus is thinner than that of those missals. However, the pages seem to be very durable and to be resistant to absorption of dirt from handling. It allows a missal that is convenient to carry and that immediately opens flat, with the desired pages lying open flat, better than any hand missal I’ve ever used or seen.

    Later editions of the Baronius are closer to the Angelus in overall thickness, obviously due to the use of thinner paper than the first edition.

    In spite of Fr. Z’s contrary report, every Baronius missal that I’ve seen had a yellower tint of paper than my Angelus version.

    Ken gave a good URL for three missals, excluding the Angelus version. A detailed description of the Angelus missal is at:
    http://www.angeluspress.org/oscatalog/item/8043/roman-catholic-daily-missal .
    Apparently the genuine leather cover edition is no longer available. I have the synthetic cover version, which I find completely attractive and durable.

    I think that the reprint (with updated table of movable feasts for 1997 to 2028) of the 1945 edition of the St. Andrew’s is very intersting, reflecting the state of the liturgy before the changes of the 1950s and early 1960s. I do find it bizarre and unfortunate that the music is presented in modern notation rather than in traditional Gregorian notation.

    PS: I just noticed that my 1956 St. Andrew’s has a front piece photo showing a Mass at St. Andrew’s Abbey in Belgium with the priest in “gothic” style vestments and the two young servers in white hooded robes. This would almost seem to reflect something seen at novus ordo services today! :-(

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