QUAERITUR: Hand-missal for new, corrected translation. Reader needs help!

From a reader:

Dear Father:
I want to purchase a daily Missal for the first time in my 53 years. I
want to buy the “best” version. However, I do not know what that is. I searched your site first as well as NLM but did not find an answer. I
know of at least three; MTF, OSV and Scepter. Are they the same. if
different, how? I am excited about side by side Latin/English.

Hope you can answer.

Will pray for you and all priests.

Have a blessed New year!

You too and thanks for the prayers. I need them.

Can the readership help this person?

I am unversed in US hand-missals for the new translation. Some of you are sure to know what is available and will have opinions.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I have the MTF… and I find it’s the best. beautiful, easy to use…

  2. julie f says:

    I have the MTF one, can’t speak to any other. It has the Latin and English on facing pages for the Ordo; also the Latin and English for the antiphons but not for prayers (collect etc). I would say it has the same amount of Latin-English as my “New Marian Missal” for the older form. It only comes in the Daily format, though, so it’s a biggun. Seems like a quality binding and I’m pleased with it.

  3. pbewig says:

    Like the others here, I use and am happy with the MTF hand missal.

  4. wmeyer says:

    I received the MTF for Christmas, and have not yet explored deeply, but it is a beautiful volume, very well produced. And though, as Julie noted, it is large, the largeness is thickness, not page size.

  5. I have the MTF Missal published by scepter and I highly recommend it. It’s high quality, and seems to include a number of traditional prayers and devotions.

    Latin ordinary text and some prayers make it very informative.

  6. The MTF/Scepter Daily Roman Missal–in previous editions the Cadillac of U.S. hand missals–described at www dot theologicalforum dot org has the Order of Mass, antiphons, and certain other things (thought not the prefaces and proper prayers) in side by side Latin-English. The description of the OSV missal (which I’ve not personally seen) posted at catalogue dot osv dot com does not indicate so much Latin, though the sample pages at amazon dot com indicate the Order of Mass is in Latin-English. The only hand missal with pretty much everything (except the scripture readings) in Latin-English seems to be the forthcoming British CTS daily missal available from Amazon and reviewed (Sunday only edition) by Father Z at


    The full daily version of this one, due in February, may be worth waiting for.

  7. Liam says:

    I looked at the various hand missals for the USA and then chose to order the British CTS daily hand missal. Although the lectionary readings do not match the translation approved for the USA, it was the only missal that otherwise gave me what I want. I eagerly await its mid-February arrival!

    On sale now for pre-order at the UK Amazon – – HERE.

  8. Sid says:

    I too have the Midwest Theological Forum’s edition, the Bonded Leather burgundy gold edged version. I too am very pleased with it. Julie has done a good job describing it. I add that the “Devotions and Prayers” section, pp. 2260-2302 is very thorough. The meditations for the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary are from St Josemaria Escriva, as is the 10 Day devotion to the Holy Spirit — which can be used for the days from Ascension to Pentecost. There is also a Novena to the Immaculate Conception, and Seven Sundays for St. Joseph. Finally, the font is appealing to the eye.

  9. benedictgal says:

    I have the MTF and was impressed with it until I got hold of the CTS People’s Sunday Missal. The CTS version is the Mercedes Benz of the lot. It puts the CTS to shame. Not only does it have artwork similar to that of the actual CTS edition of the Roman Missal. it also has the Latin translations (including the propers) as well as the musical notations for the ICEL chants. I gave the CTS People’s Sumday Missal to my parochial vicar, as he wanted the Latin text. He, too, was impressed with the quality. Even though the readings are not meant for use in the US, the rest of the book is superb.

    You can ordee both the MTF and CTS through Amazon and Amazon UK respectively.

  10. benedictgal says:


    The CTS will be releasing its daily people’s Missal in February. I am ordering it. Also. both the Daily and Sunday versions have the meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newmann, as well as the prayers of benediction in English and Latin.

  11. jesusthroughmary says:

    Ironic that they would publish a 10-day devotion from Ascension to Pentecost when that is the original Novena.

  12. benedictgal says:

    Correction! I meant to say that the CTS version puts the MTF to shame!

  13. cweaver says:

    Don’t know the CTS version but I second all the praise for MTF, especially its bilingual character. And the section at the back on How to be a better Catholic makes it feel quite traditional. Devotions and prayers, and a useful Examination of Conscience/guide for a good confession.

  14. Polish Falcon says:

    The CTS website indicates it is not suitable for the US:
    About the same price as the MTF missal.

    We bought our MTF through EWTN without any markup. Very pleased with it.

  15. Vic says:

    We too have an MTF missal. We’ve been using it since the beginning of Advent. Haven’t seen the CTS version but very satisfied with MTS. It seems to include all the instructions for the presider and other ministers in both english and latin.

  16. Rich says:

    St. Joseph Daily Missal has two missals to cover the whole years. From Advent to Pentecost is an orangey colored version, and the other half of the year is dark blue. They don’t have the Sunday readings, but last time I bought one it was for $14.95. I remember at the time that this was relatively cheap compared to other missals around, even though the total for both would be around $30. I, too, am now wanting to buy a Sunday missal for the new translation, and am looking around.

  17. chonak says:

    I posted some pics of the MTF/OSV missal at

  18. acardnal says:

    I have the daily hand missal from Midwest Theological Forum (MTF). It is also published by Scepter. I have been using it at daily and Sunday Masses since the beginning of Advent. I like it because it has the Latin side by side with the English in case Father says Mass in Latin. (Greek for the Kyrie, of course.) AND it has a substantial section with prayers and Catholic beliefs and examinations of conscience.

  19. Sword40 says:

    I have no intentions of purchasing an OF missal. I intend to increase my attendance at the EF. I’ll use the Angeles Press Daily missal for that. The few times I go to my local OF parish, I can get by with a small print-out from the internet.

  20. acardnal says:

    In addition to the MTF and Scepter versions of the hand missal here in the USA, Our Sunday Visitor will be publishing one in January 2012: https://catalog.osv.com/Catalog.aspx?SimpleDisplay=true&ProductCode=T1213

    AND Pauline Publishing will be publishing one in January too. You can view several pages here; just scroll down to near the bottom of the page. There does not appear to be any Latin in the missal, however. http://store.pauline.org/StoreHomePage/tabid/146/Default.aspx

  21. pinoytraddie says:

    I Have a MTF Missal but Sadly it’s not fully bilingual and neither is the CTS Missal(Judging from it’s Sample Pages at their website).

  22. If you only have a few bucks, there is the paperback New St. Joseph Sunday Missal for 2012 — I paid $3.95 for mine.

  23. RichR says:

    I have the MTF missal, and it is fine. The big gripes I’d have would be:

    1) The text is set too close to the spine, so when you open it up, you have to stretch it open if you want to read the first few letters of each line. Annoying.

    2) No Gregorian chant. Not a huge deal, but when compared to the CTS version, it is disappointing.

    3) Poor text-page contrast. The CTS missal seems easier to read the darker texts.

    If I had to do it over, I’d get the CTS missal. I listen to the readers read the scriptures at Mass, so the translation difference for the readings is a non-issue. As far as the Paulist Press missal, OSV missal, and St. Joseph missal, I can’t comment.

  24. benedictgal says:

    The CTS version is nearly fully bilingual. The only exceptions are for the feasts of Sts. David, George and Patrick. They do not have Latin collects.

    While the CTS is not meant for the US, it’s main point is that it has the Collect. Offertory and Prayer after Communion trans,ated in Latin. The fact that it also has the musical notations for both the ICEL chants and the Latin is also a huge plus. While I like the MTF version. it pales in comparison to what the CTS offers.

  25. We had a brief discussion about this at our parish New Translation orientation session. Our Deacon believes that the next thing to be retranslated will be the scripture and psalms used at Mass. That would be wonderful! But it begs the question of how long one of these hand missals will be current? No easy answer. I decided to stick with Magnificat for now.

  26. Lucas says:

    Those 3 are all the same version. I used to work in a Catholic bookstore and we dealt with all 3 companies. The ones from Scepter were re-bound hardcover because MTF was not interested in doing hard cover.

    The contents are all the same however.

  27. skull kid says:

    I have the CTS Presentation Edition and it is marvellous. I can highly recommend it for all UK/Irish Catholics and Americans willing to accept that the Scripture translation is not that used in the US lectionary.

  28. Daniel says:

    The OSV, Scepter and MWTF missals are all the same book done under different imprints. Pauline formerly did one missal for Sundays and a second one for weekdays excluding Sundays. They will still have a Sunday, but have changed their weekday missal to a daily missal that will now include Sundays. The CBP St. Joseph missals will continue to require 3 volumes to cover every day of the year, one for Sunday and two for weekdays. The cost to get all three volumes will be more than getting a daily missal from the others, so in less expensive only if all you want is Sunday. Each individual volume will be less cumbersome to carry around, though I’d say it is the least attractive.

  29. Daniel says:

    I’d think that anyone in the U.S. that had a missal from the last translation might as well continue with that one with the correct readings versus changing to one that has the new translation for the Mass text but the wrong translation for the readings. The majority of the changes are on the part of the priest’s prayers which you will be hearing rather than saying. It should not be too difficult to get into the habit of the new responses that you could likely make without needing to read them. It all depends upon how people mainly use their missals, it seems many have them for the purpose of following the readings which have not changed.

  30. theophilus says:

    I bought the Vatican II Hymnal and use it like a missal. I love it. You can find out more at Chant Cafe.

  31. Rellis says:

    I posted a review of the MTF missal on Amazon:



    In the pre-new translation era, this missal was the gold standard. It was as good as it got in the Ordinary Form. That may still be the case, but I’m going to hold off on buying this new edition until I see if some competition emerges.

    There are good parts and bad parts to this book.

    Good Parts:

    1. Complete order of Mass in Latin and English

    2. Plenty of ribbons

    3. Nice gilded edges

    4. Some of the traditional prayers before and after Mass

    5. Other things handy to have in a missal (Stations of the Cross, etc.)

    6. Two missal propers (Introit and Communio) in Latin and English (NB that the Offertory is not part of the Missal, but the Gradual–and that the Gradual Introits and Communios are often different than the Missal, especially in Ordinary Time)

    7. All the common Masses, votive Masses, and saint propers you ever would need in the real world (I think the criticism here in another review is making the perfect the enemy of the good).

    8. Ditto for Eucharistic Prayer and Pen Rite B options–again, everything you would ever actually need in the real world

    That being said, there are some serious drawbacks. Serious enough that I am willing to wait to see what competitors will offer before buying:

    1. The Mass orations (Collect, Prayer over Oblations, Post Communion Prayer) are English-only

    2. The Prefaces are English only. This is a HUGE downside for me.

    3. Not all of the traditional prayers before Mass are here. The psalm prayers often found in Ex Form missals are not, for example

    4. There is a massive catechetical section which really bulks it up. The missal is hard to hold in your hand as a result. If I wanted to read a catechism, I would read a catechism. A missal should contain everything I need AT MASS, and that’s all it needs. It’s not a breviary. It’s not a catechism. It’s not a prayer book.

    5. The “bonded leather” version that I got in the 1990s was nice and bendy. This seems to have a hardcover underneath the leather. I detest non-bendy missals. I don’t want to feel like I’m bringing a hardcover novel to Mass, and I like to rough up my missal in my hands. They should bend without being wimpy.

    6. The lectionary readings are English only, with the exception of the Responsorial Psalm antiphon. Ideally, all the readings would be in English and Latin. Same for the whole Responsorial Psalm.

    7. This is a “nice to have,” but it would be nice to have the Gradual Introit, Offertory, and Communion (at least the antiphon) in Latin and English. It would also be a “nice to have” to see the Gradual Psalm given as an option below the Responsorial Psalm.

    8. Getting rid of the catechetical extras would also make room for the extra Mass stuff that someone else complained about, but these are pretty rare to actually hear.

    Can there be extra things in missals? Sure. It’s nice to have things like weddings, Baptism, Stations, how to say the Rosary, prayers before and after Mass, etc. But don’t stray too far from the basic mission of a missal–everything said at Mass in Latin and English.

    Personally, I judge all missals by the “golden era” St. Joseph’s missals of the 1950s. These simply had everything said at Mass in Latin and English. There were a few extras–things you see on the altar, prayers before and after Mass, stations, rosary, etc. But they didn’t try to do too much. I still often use my grandmother’s 1958 missal when I go to an Ex Form.

    The Baronius Press EF missal makes the same mistake as MTF does here. It’s not a compendium of everything–it’s a missal. The Angelus Press does a better job, but I don’t give the SSPX my money until they enter full communion.

    At the very least, a missal should have EVERYTHING in Latin and English from the Mass (including the Prefaces and the orations). If that means shedding the mini-catechism, great. It’s a key thing. How do you not have the Latin Prefaces? In the post Fr. Z era, how do you not have the Latin orations?

    Ideally, the pages would be vertically split in half, with English on one side and Latin on the other. Alternatively, they could have left-right pages with Latin-English. Top-bottom, as is done here for propers, is the worst method.

    Keep it simple.

  32. Elizabeth D says:

    Scepter is the Opus Dei publishing house, MTF is also an Opus Dei affiliated apostolate. Maybe their partnership with OSV is for distribution purposes.

    I want to add MTF publishes the nicest, beautiful, traditional, dignified (and $$$) liturgical books. They are just the nicest and with ideal art. My parish has the Book of the Gospels, the Missale Romanum (Novus Ordo Missale in Latin) and now the new “Regal Edition” Roman Missal, from MTF. They also publish in similar quality binding a “Lectionarium” (Novus Ordo Lectionary in Latin)… but not an English Lectionary to match the other books! The Sacred Scriptures themselves are worth a $900 binding but I guess the NAB is not! There is always good old Catholic Book Publishing Company for serviceable and affordable liturgical books without any heavy-duty beauty or dignity.

    One thing that greatly pleased me is that I looked pretty hard in the MTF new translation Roman Missal (I do not mean the hand missal), and nowhere that I could find, not on the title page, the copyright page, nor in the back, nor anywhere on the binding, does it say MTF, they seem to have entirely resisted taking credit for this really beautiful book. It is just the Roman Missal, from the Catholic Church. Yeah!

  33. philosophicallyfrank says:

    I also have the MTF Missal and so far am very satisfied with it. My previous Missal was the 3 Vol. St. Joseph Missal and the weekday Mass Propers were frequently scattered throughout sections in the back of the Missals for each Proper prayer. It was very confusing and difficult to follow. Whether the newly translated St. Joseph’s weekday Missals will be improved or not, I don’t know; but, I wasn’t going to take a chance. The MTF has 6 ribbons which works out well; but,”might” be on the flimsy side and could be heftier; but. perhaps will be sufficient.

  34. benedictgal says:

    What I wish that the MTF had was the ICEL chants. Now, the CTS band missal does have quotes from Pope Benedict XVI, ut, these do not bulk up their missal.

    The CTS has the Latin and English collects, offertory prayers and post-Communion prayers are side-side. Even though I bought the MTF, I am going to ourchase both versions of the CTS because of their superior quality, use of Latin and overall beauty.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are some good things in the MTF; however, if we want to follow the ICEL chants, there are no musical notations. Furthermore, there are even musical notations in Latin.

  35. pinoytraddie says:


    I stand corrected,the only thing I don’t like about the CTS Missal is That they have no Gospel Acclamations in Latin

  36. GeekLady says:

    It’s such a shame that the MTS is considered the best hand missal, especially when I compare it to the CTS’s hand missal. CTS isn’t perfect, but I still think its description puts the MTS’s to shame.

    I should blog sometime about the ideal hand missal.

  37. Daniel says:

    From what I can recall hearing at the last Bishops’ Conference Meeting, have they not removed the Latin Text from the Roman Missals (for the altar)? It seems they indicated that the purpose was to have an English Missal, and that if anyone wanted a Latin Altar Missal that the Latin was a separate missal. If that is the case, it seems a number of people are wanting more in a “hand missal” than is available in an altar missal. It would seem that it will be more difficult for a priest using the altar missal to try to shift between English and Latin if it requires him to have two different missals to do so. What are the typical reasons that people are looking for the entire text in both Latin and English?

  38. Mgoog says:

    Thank you Father for highlighting this question. The comments have been a great help in understanding the differences as well as process of producing and using a Missal.

    Happy New Year to All!

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