In bygone days, the parish bought a paperback missalette called Breaking Bread, which we used both as a hymn book and as a missal with the Scripture readings and prayers of the day. Since March of 2020, we have set those books aside because passing paper from person to person can easily spread viruses and other microorganisms.
Fr. Bob wants to urge all parishioners to invest in their own personal missal. Take your missal with you to Mass and take it home with you after. Read it. Use it. Make it part of your life. Reading the daily Mass readings is one of the best ways to deepen your spiritual life.
Now is a wonderful time to be alive! Some centuries ago, a missal weighed 40 lbs., it took more than a year to produce one copy, and the final product cost more than a house. Now missals are available in all sorts of formats and in all price ranges, including lots of good options for free. Here are some suggestions from Frs. Ray and Bob. This list is certainly not exhaustive – they list some of the easiest to find options. The friars divide the suggestions up into three categories
- Apps for tablets and smartphones
- Paperback popular missals
- Hardbound missals and Mass books
APPS TO USE AT MASS
You may notice that Fr. Ray uses an electronic tablet when he celebrates Mass, because of his bad eyesight. Fr. Ray recommends the app “iBreviary”. Four of the most popular Catholic Mass apps are:
- myParish/St. Anthony of Padua in Angola – this is our parish’s own app, and we have all the Mass texts on it! Our app is limited but easy to use. If you don’t have it in your phone, get it now! More about our parish app
- iBreviary – published by the Franciscans of the Holy Land, this app is aimed at priests and religious, so all the texts are here, including all the Catholic liturgical books. It takes some practice to use. More about iBreviary
Now is a wonderful time to be alive ...
- Laudate – a free app, quite popular. Lots of ads, though. It does not do well offline.
- Universalis – an expensive app, but all the texts are here, and many other resources. A desktop version is available. It does not do well offline. More about Universalis
All of these apps are available from Google Play, the App Store, or wherever you get your apps for tablet or smartphone. If you would like help with these or other apps, contact the parish staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get one of our “Holy Tony Geeks” to help you!
MISSALS IN MAGAZINE FORM
Many people prefer having a booklet made of paper in their hand, so they can read the Biblical readings and follow the texts of the liturgy both before and during Mass. These are called “liturgical periodicals” and usually appear monthly. Here, in alphabetical order, are the three most popular one in the United States:
- Living Faith. Daily Catholic Devotions. – published four times a year by Bayard, the same publisher as the next magazine below. This little magazine (in stapled pamphlet format) concentrates on personal prayer more than public Mass. For each day, there is a meditation. The chapters and verses for the Mass readings are listed, but you must use your own Bible for the text. $15.00 per year. Also available in Spanish and in large print, and for the Amazon Kindle, the Nook and on the iBookstore. www.livingfaith.com
- Living with Christ. Your daily companion for praying and living the Eucharist. – published monthly by Bayard, a well-established Catholic publishing house. The paperback magazines are bound with glue. For each day, there is a brief morning and evening prayer, the Mass readings and a brief reflection. Each issue has the complete Order of the Mass. There is a special issue for Holy Week. $25.95 per year. www.livingwithchrist.us
- Magnificat – Has morning, evening and night prayer for each day, the Mass readings and prayers, a Gospel reflection by a recognized Catholic theologian, and a saint’s life. There is a monthly artwork with reflection, a hymn of the month and a Marian antiphon with a theological commentary, and various blessings, essays and prayers. This magazine seeks to be a complete spiritual companion but is perhaps a little harder to use than Living With Christ. $47.00 per year (which includes both the paper and the electronic edition). Also available in multiple languages, as a children’s version (Magnifikid), etc. www.us.magnificat.net
HARDBOUND MISSALS AND MASS BOOKS
Some people prefer the weight and feel of a real, old fashioned hardbound book instead of a magazine or an electronic device. In the 1880’s, the Benedictine monks introduced the “popular missal”, a book for lay people with all the readings, prayers and other texts of the Mass, in Latin and the vernacular, so everyone could better follow along. (See Fr. Bob’s blog on this, "Listen to the Music of the Angels"). You have to learn how to use an old fashioned book, of course, but it’s worth the effort! Here are a few readily available modern missals.
NOTA BENE: Be sure to buy an edition published 2010 or later, so you have the current translations of the prayers.
- New St. Joseph Sunday Missal. Catholic Book Publishing Company, app. 1600 pages. $20 - $40, depending on the binding. The complete 3-year Sunday cycle in one volume. Many of the prayers are repeated to minimize page turning. The sewn cloth edition includes beautiful full color illustrations. A large print version is available. A two-volume weekday edition is also available.
- St. Paul Sunday Missal. Daughters of St. Paul. About 2700 pages. $25 to $50, depending on the binding. Like the missal above, it has all the readings, prayers and responses for every Sunday and Holy Day of the three-year cycle, but this edition also has a meditation/commentary for each Sunday and a “treasury of prayers”, so that it is also a personal prayer book for everyday use.
- Daily Roman Missal. Our Sunday Visitor. About 2500 pages. $45 to $90, depending on the binding. This missal has both the three-year Sunday cycle and the two-year weekday cycle in one volume, plus many Masses for special occasions, including all the saints’ feasts, funerals, weddings, etc. Includes English and Latin side by side. 200 pages of devotions and prayers. A big, heavy book that can be used every day of the year for a lifetime.