Toward the end of last year a post on the New Liturgical Movement website captured my attention. It spoke about the four volume Missale Romanum cum lectionibus, published in 1977 to conform to the ordinary form of the Roman rite. This missal – in effect four distinct books for the seasons of the year and feasts – contains the entire Latin text of the second edition of the 1969 Missale Romanum (i.e. the 1975 text approved by Pope Paul VI) together with the complete lections, psalms, and verses for before the gospel. Although it is in four volumes, it is nonetheless a useful book – but is extremely rare to obtain. Fortunately, Corpus Christi Watershed has now made the complete four volumes available online here.
Aside from the interest of such a book, and the usefulness of having the complete text in one place (well, four), this was of particular interest for the simple fact that it is extremely useful for travel or Mass in a small chapel, to have a single book with the texts for both the Mass and the lections. It has been necessary (or desirable) on more than one occasion to celebrate Mass at an altar in a chapel that was never designed for an ambo or lectern. Most side chapels, for example, do not have this facility, and so one ends up with the clumsy situation of a missal and lectionary to handle. This is far from edifying, and far from practical. When it comes to travel, too, it is difficult to justify a full missal and a full lectionary – not least when you are traveling over a period when the volume of the lectionary required changes.
I was particularly glad, then, to come across the Midwest Theological Forum‘s new Daily Roman Missal. This has been around for some time as a hand missal, but a new large print edition, bound in leather with good ribbons and gold-edging, means that it is suitable for use on the altar during Mass itself. It contains the lections, psalms, and gospel acclamations for the Mass, together the ordo Missæ, orations, prefaces, and other requisite parts in both English and Latin. This will transform the dignity of those celebrations where the juggling of a missal and lectionary has, thus far, been necessary, and will also make celebrating the ordinary form much simpler when traveling. It also restores the practice (which existed at least in the English editions of the 1975 Missale Romanum) of containing the prayers of the Mass in both Latin and the vernacular, thus making it possible to better study the texts for prayer and the preparation of the sacred liturgy, and also (at an English Mass) to include certain parts of the Mass in Latin. MTF are to be commended on this excellent publication.
Postscript: The missal does not come with tabs on the pages, nor with tabs to add oneself. I am currently looking for a way to resolve this and will update here when I find a way!