Q. Could you explain for me what the Daily Roman Missal is and where I might find a copy?
A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:
The dictionary defines “missal” as, “A book containing all the prayers and responses necessary for celebrating the Mass throughout the year.” The word comes from “missa,” which gives us the word “Mass,” and means “sent.”
As the definition suggests, the missal the priest uses is a substantial volume, combining what had been (until Renaissance times) two or more books. Many of the missal’s liturgical texts (the introductory rites, prefaces and the prayers that introduce the Communion rite — as well as the Eucharistic Prayers, for solemn occasions) are written in musical chant so celebrants can sing the texts without consulting other printed sources.
A “daily missal,” the book used by the laity at Mass, is somewhat abbreviated (it does not, ordinarily, contain musical notation for liturgical texts). However, it can be a weightier volume than the priest’s missal, as it contains readings for Masses throughout the year.
Daily missals come in various forms. Monthly (subscription) editions allow Massgoers to avoid carrying one large volume. For those who want to “look ahead,” beautiful editions of the Missal can be purchased. Those interested might begin their search online at Our Sunday Visitor, where both permanent and monthly missals are to be found.