Finding Things in the New Missal

Finding Things in the New Missal
The new leather-bound Missals that are now being delivered to parishes are beautiful to look at and luxurious to handle. However, priests and those who prepare the liturgy will need to get used to finding liturgical texts in unexpected places. The arrangement of the book is quite different from the one presiders have become familiar with in the last 40 years because this edition follows the Latin editio typica exactly.
The following information about the layout of the new Missal is taken from the editorial of “Liturgy News” September 2011.
The Rite for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Water, which may replace the Penitential Act on Sundays, does not appears before the Penitential Act as in the present Missal but is buried in an appendix at the back of the book.
There is no longer a single collection of all the Prefaces in one place in the Missal. Prefaces used for more than one day are still collected together within the Order of Mass (for example Seasons, Saints, Dead). Prefaces used on a single day are found with the prayers for that day. Some Prefaces are found in two or three places, some are with the Commons (Dedication of a Church), others are placed with Ritual Masses (in the case of marriage, each of the three Prefaces is associated with a different Mass formulary) while some are put with Masses for Various Needs and Occasions (Christian Unity) or Votive Masses (Trinity, Triumph of the Cross, Sacred Heart, Holy Spirit, Angels, etc).
One could argue that the new arrangement of the Prefaces locates them right after the Prayer over the Offerings exactly where they are required, but even this is not consistent for the seasonal Prefaces which are placed within the Order of Mass. Specific Prefaces will be difficult to find.
The Eucharistic Prayers also are not all in one place. The four principal prayers are within the Order of Mass. The music settings of these four Eucharistic Prayers follow the solemn blessings. The two Eucharistic Prayers for Reconciliation and the four prayers for use in Masses for Various Needs are found in an appendix to the Order of Mass after the form of Mass with the participation of a single minister. The Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, originally in an appendix, have been removed entirely and will be published in a separate volume.
The sanctoral cycle is complex because it contains all the proper feasts for England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Australia. There are very many commemorations for these other countries which will need to be passed over to find the appropriate texts.
As an amusing aside, among Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions listed in the index are four especially for use in Australia, including one “In Time of Draught”. Breeze or beer, I wonder!
It will require close study to master the contents of the new Missal and make the volume easily usable in the celebration of the liturgy. To assist with this, the director of The Liturgical Commission, Dr Tom Elich, will lead an informal workshop for clergy on 8th November to explore the new layout and ponder strategies for effective use of the Missal. Contact Clergy Support 3336 9218 for information.

Elizabeth Harrington