New missal resources: Who’s publishing the Roman Missal?

Ed. note: Below is a list of publishers who are known to be preparing editions of the Roman Missal, third edition. While many of these volumes are available for pre-ordering now, no missal editions will be available until October 1, 2011, as prescribed by the BCDW.  This list last updated February 21, 2011. — ca

Catholic Book Publishing, Altar edition

Catholic Book Publishing Chapel edition

Catholic Book Publishing Corp.: from left to right,  Altar Clothbound Edition ($129), Deluxe Leatherbound Edition ($159) and  Chapel clothbound Edition ($89)

LitPress missal

Liturgical Press: Ritual Edition ($170), Chapel Edition ($120)

Liturgy Training Publications: left,  Ritual edition (8.5″ x 11″, $175) and Chapel edition (7″ x 10″, $95); right, Regal Edition ($500)

MagnificatA variety of sizes, TBA

Midwest Theological ForumMissale Romanum ($499)

USCCB Publishing: details released February 28

World Library Publications: left, Value Edition ($195); right, Deluxe Edition ($395)

Is there an edition missing from this list?  Please let us know:


  1. A publisher’s dream… Every Catholic Church in the English Speaking world will need to buy completely new missals!

  2. A publisher’s dream… Except for the nightmare of having to prepare these missals several times over to accommodate for the feet-dragging and revising Vox Clara has subjected them to. All that revenue might just pay for their therapy.

  3. +JMJ+

    Every Catholic Church in the English Speaking world will need to buy completely new missals!

    This sort of comment always makes me wonder if people expected the current translation we have to last forever!

  4. I keep thinking Catholic Book Publishing will one day do a design makeover, but no. They publish the homeliest-looking books imaginable. Matter of personal preference, I realize.

  5. “Buy one as an investment. Eventually the liturgical equivalent of an Edsel. ”

    Brilliant, Mr. Smith! At first, I had in mind the Vinegar Bible. Then the Sinners’ Bible!

    eBay (S-M-V, Sacerdote, Estrbrkboy, Mustard Seed) here we come!

  6. Here in Providence, we prefer Catholic Book Pub Co. Maximum (albeit ugly) bang for the buck. Given its limited life, why would anyone ever pay $395 to $500?

  7. Now that publishers are announcing their plans, I find it interesting that a side-by-side English-Latin Missal has been suggested, but I’ve heard no mention of another bi-lingual option.

    With so many parish communities now incorporating a combination of Spanish and English speaking members, a side-by-side Spanish-English Missal would facilitate bi-lingual celebration of the Mass, and it could provide a meaningful encouragement to parishes to explore such an expression of our universality and unity.

    Is any publisher considering this?

    Jeff Rexhausen

  8. Just returned from the SWLC…and ALL of the publishers are competing to get the most business.

    My question is: Why should the People of God pay for a Missale Romanum that will change again in the next 3 years, without any real input from American litugical scholars or the American Catholic bishops?

    1. To faithfully and pastorally serve the people of God in today’s Church. Also, to liberate them from the existing translation.

  9. I wonder what kind of kickbacks the boys at Vox Clara are getting? At least a few long weekends at a villa with all the imaginable frills . . .

      1. Yeah, there’s enough regular corruption with Vox Clara not to have to get into the fiscal arrangements with Opus Dei. Good point, Mark.

  10. Don’t forget the rest of the English-speaking world outside of the USA and its territories. Let me list them so we don’t forget just how many there are:

    Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

    Indian Ocean: Mauritius, the Seychelles.

    Atlantic Ocean: the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha.

    Asia: Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka.

    Europe: The Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta, The UK.

    The Americas: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Oceana and the Pacific: Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

    Many of these countries use English liturgical books published in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, and elsewhere.

    1. Well done Graham.
      Many of the country lists do not include the Channel Islands which can be a problem for us. Of course as there is no legal connection between the two principal Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey we count as two.

      King Charles II ordered the Book of Common Prayer to be translated into French for us shortly after he was restored to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland (all pre-union) as English was not much use here then.
      Sadly nowadays we just use the English & Wales / Portuguese and Polish texts.

      1. Thanks Peter

        For the rest of us – here’s a humorous but accurate Youtube video that comprehensively explains the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, England and the Crown.

  11. The whole thing is such a freaking mess. Imagine how many parishes will have to jettison their 5-600 Worship copies, to buy new ones (cha-ching) to jettison THESE for the newer, closer to correct edition…next year (cha-ching) then, its onto the FINAL, corrected, re-translated edition in a couple of more years (cha-ching). The WHOLE thing is a freaking mess.

    1. How well we echo the complainers who were dissapointed to see parishes having to purchase new vernacular missals and loads of inserts in 1965, 1967, 1973, 1975, ……..

  12. Editor: If Midwest Theological Forum is preparing an English edition of the Missale Romanum, it’s news to me. The link that you provided here is to the Latin editio typica tertia, not to an English translation. And I am unable to find any such product on the MTF website.

  13. It seems that the cynics view this as a money-making exercise for the publishers. Quite the contrary. This will be a loss-making exercise

    (a) because of the continual changes to texts over the past 6 years, requiring new typesetting, re-engraving, re-recording and reprinting (the amount of money expended is huge and can probably never be recouped)

    (b) because the word on the street is that the 2010 texts have a maximum life of 2 years from publication before they are found severely wanting and are changed again (for the better).

  14. The whole thing would be a lot simpler if we just stuck with the Latin, as Vatican II requested.

    “36, (1) The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rite.”

    Of course, the Latin remains a happy, if almost completely unused, option in the Novus Ordo. Just like EP IV. 🙁

    1. Chris, you surely know as well as anyone else here that Vatican II did not only request retention of Latin. I’ll quote SC 36 and 54, but never without acknowledging the permission for and expectation of use of the vernacular.

      (Whether Vatican II envisioned a completely vernacular Mass and a laity virtually incapable of making the Latin responses… that’s another thing.)

      1. Paul VI and the world’s bishops — the same ones who were the Council Fathers — implemented a vernacular liturgy which was warmly welcomed by the People of God.

      2. laity virtually incapable of making the Latin responses


        The majority of the laity couldn’t make the Latin responses before the Council, either. As I understand it, dialogue Masses were the exception, not the rule.

      3. FCB, and yet SC 54 said that “steps should be taken” so that the faithful could make the responses in Latin. SC was clearly promoting the “dialogue Mass” universally (whether in the vernacular or in Latin).

        But were steps taken, regarding the Latin? Is this another one of those “not tried and found hard, but thought impossible and not tried” issues?

      4. The history of the Church is full of examples of the time lapse between when the council promulgates its decrees and when the decrees actually get implemented. Interestingly, I read somewhere that the number of years tend to be around 40, i.e. for the first 40 years after a Council, the things intended by the Council didn’t really get implemented. Perhaps its politics, perhaps its human psychology, perhaps its Satan trying to derail the good work in the Church.

        In any case, Latin is making a comeback these days. In my cathedral parish in the Far East, we sing parts of the Mass in Latin and others in English. We have been doing these for a few years now, and today, everyone who regularly attends Mass at the Cathedral know the Pater noster in Latin by heart. The Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and Marian antiphons are familiar to the congregation also.

        Even in the regular parishes, Latin is no longer as “foreign” as it was when I was growing up. But they are a far way from the model of the cathedral’s liturgy.

      5. “Paul VI and the world’s bishops — the same ones who were the Council Fathers — implemented a vernacular liturgy which was warmly welcomed by the People of God.”

        And how was that “welcome” determined? By Mass attendance?

        Following that logic, if the 2nd Sunday of Advent sees continued Mass attendance we shall see you proclaim how the English speaking Church has welcomed the new translation.
        And if Mass attendance should fall, we can blame Humanae Vitae.

  15. In reviewing the Missals above, I was wondering if there is an option out there for a loose leaf binder? It will make revisions very easy to implement.

    A loose leaf alternative, even in better paper, should cost around $29.95….which is PLENTY for this train wreak.

  16. Jeffrey Pinyan makes a good point: some papal texts were not warmly welcomed by the bishops after Vatican II. Might we surmise that this was because these texts reflected the well-known process by which the Curia emasculated Vatican II? The texts that were warmly welcomed have greater authority.

  17. Though probably the problem with Iubilate Deo as with John XXIII’s encyclical on reviving Latin was simply a practical one.

    1. Or because people never read or saw them?

      I still remember a conversation I had with a lay chaplain in a prestigious university in the US. He stated that Vatican II called for the replacement of Latin by the vernacular. I challenged him to read Sacrosanctum Concillium with me then and there. There were other students around and he quickly backed down.

      As a result of original sin, we will always have a tendency to welcome what we like, and try to ignore what we don’t like. Perhaps some of us avoid reading the authoritative texts of our faith, including the Bible, the GIRM and the Counciliar documents, in case we should find something that takes us out of our comfort zones?

  18. Returning to the content of the original post:

    I think Magnificat is also putting out their edition of the Roman Missal. That would make at least 5 publishers for the Missal in the USA alone. The UK, Australia and Scotland have only one: Catholic Truth Society, not that I’m complaining, since they have been putting out good quality books (content and appearance-wise) in recent years.

    The African countries will be publishing their own edition of the Roman Missal through St. Pauls. I heard that some African dioceses have plans to adopt a new Lectionary, and it’s not going to be the NRSV.

    Historically, Canada, India and the Phillipines have published their own editions of the Missal as well. I assume they will continue this practice with the new translation of the Roman Missal.

    Considering how the Church took 40 odd years to correct the current poor-quality translations from the 1970s, I wouldn’t be surprised if a further, improved transation of the Roman Missal would take another 40, if not longer, years. By then, I should have one foot in the grave already, God-willing. A good quality and elegant edition of the Roman Missal might last that duration. I intend to purchase a few copies to donate to certain parishes in my area.

    1. Lectionary: I wonder if it’s the beautiful two volume (Sundays / Weekday-Saints-etc) published by Ignatius Press? We have it at the chapel. The print is large and easy to read and the translation is from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition second edition. It was done for the Antilles but Father Neuhaus wrote about it in First Things not long before he passed away and so our priest knew about it through that and bought it. Not bulky and complicated and several volumes like the US ones and a very nice formal English style too.

    2. “Considering how the Church took 40 odd years to correct the current poor-quality translations from the 1970s”

      “Poor-quality” is in the eye/ear of the beholder. The new translation can also be said to be poor-quality, but for different reasons.

      However, I rather like the 1973, especially given the choice between it and the linguistic mumbo-jumbo that’s on its way to us. I particularly like the Eucharistic prayers – a lot of care, thought and intelligence went into their translation.

      Have a look at this ICEL booklet from 1967 that explains the thinking behind the translation of the Roman Canon that we use today.

      1. I have seen the ICEL explanation of their translation of the Roman Canon in response to the opposition raised against it by prominent writers. There are, obviously, points I don’t agree with. Apparently, cogent arguments against the translation did not make any impact on the translation of the Canon then – so it’s really not surprising if the voices raised against the new, corrected translation isn’t making much impact too, right? As Qoheleth says, there’s nothing new under the sun.

        Perhaps we wil see a new tract to explain the new translation of the Canon.

  19. The Catholic Truth Society is printing a rather excellent Roman Missal, complete with high quality paper and beautiful art.

  20. “But were steps taken, regarding the Latin? Is this another one of those “not tried and found hard, but thought impossible and not tried” issues?”

    The Greeks have been trying to do this for years, but I’m not sure how successful they’ve been. Does anyone on list know? My Greco-American students have not had much good to say about it, but they may have been too young for the ordeal.

    1. I’m not sure if I understood your question. Are you refering to the use of koine Greek in the Greek Orthodox liturgies? Haven’t they been using koine Greek since the beginning, and when a Bishop tried to introduce modern Greek, the Orthodox faithful protested against the novelty?

  21. Yes, I saw that. An example of Vox populi? That bishop was smart and compromised by using both modern and ancient Greek.

    As I understand it the Greek Archdiocese of N-S America has been trying to keep Greek alive amongst its youth. The emphasis is on Modern Greek with some Liturgical Greek and Koine as well.

    I do know that the site for the Archdiocese offers lots of info about Greek chant and other prayer forms.

    I was wondering how effective has all this been for the Greeks. Could this be done by the Latins?

    (The tie in was Mr. Pinyan’s query about whether steps were taken regarding Latin – by which I understood him asking if the Catholic authorities had tried to teach (liturgical) Latin to their young. Of course individual efforts were made -Wilfrid Diamond’s “Latin” and Mary Ryan’s “Your Catholic Language”, for example.)

    1. if the Catholic authorities had tried to teach (liturgical) Latin to their young

      Young, old, it makes no difference. I had in mind congregations, rather than any other sort of grouping of the faithful. At my parish, I remember, on occasion, learning a new responsorial psalm before Mass, or learning a new setting of the Gloria or Sanctus (in English, of course). Why can’t the same approach be taken for the Latin ordinary?

  22. I think it incredibly unlikely that, once published in ritual form (and at great expense), these texts will be withdrawn or modified. There is too much money at stake, not only for the publishers but for the owners of the texts–a lot of royalties. In an interview with USC some years ago now, Bishop Trautman (I think correctly) argued that the time to improve these texts is now, because they will be with us for a generation. I think even the publishers will push back hard on any changes for a while; having been through the production of two ritual editions (gospel book and weekday lectionary) at LTP, I can’t imagine great wailing and gnashing of teeth (understandably) if we get further changes in two years. It’s now or never, or at least now or 20 years from now.

  23. Does anyone know when hand missals (Sunday, Weekday or otherwise) will be available. I use a hand missal for my nursing home Masses and was just curious.

  24. Good point Fr.Daniel. I would love to purchase a bound copy of St. Joseph Sunday Missal with all three cycles published by Catholic Book Publishing, but I didn’t want to order it until the new ordinary of the Mass was approved. When does Catholic Book Publishing Company plan on making that available???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *