Disposable missal to personal missal switch
  • Has anyone been part of a successful effort that had an entire parish switch from using parish supplied paper missals to personally purchased St. Joseph/permanent missals for the A/B/C Sunday cycles? Could you provide information about that experience? Advice welcomed regarding pending new version.
    Charles in CenCA
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Our parish ditched the OCP annual "Breaking Bread" hymnals/missalettes last fall, replacing them with a hardbound hymnal and announcing that parishoners may opt to purchase personal missals if they wanted. (We've got a gift shop downstairs that sells them.)

    I don't have any hard data about the switch, and I haven't spoken to anyone about it (and I haven't heard anyone complain per se), but just from looking around, it seems to me that there are a fair number of folks who have acquired such personal missals and bring them to Mass. However, even before the switch, some people were using their personal missals rather than the missalettes in the pews.

    Perhaps there was a little bit of an increase in the use of personal missals. Not much, though… most folks are now simply empty-handed.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    Would the annual missals published by Catholic Book be something useful to put in the pews?
  • Thank you Mark and chonak,
    Okay, folks, what I'm in need of- persuasive oratory that could nudge the PTB over from the "Folks are entitled (tho' they're paying for the throwaways in any case)" to the obvious benefits of fiscal responsibility, personal ownership and investment, and this will help the environment, both in the micro (non-messy pews) and macro (Mr. T sez "Save a tree. Fool!") senses. If this goal is accomplished, then the next logical step is towards replacing the disposable hymnal, get it?
    Please, I'm dealing with a very status quo mentality; I need realpolitik help and advice.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    chonak, looked through the preview pages of those St. Joseph missals with interest… but was a bit dismayed when I saw a Haugen song featured in there! (I'm curious, though… what's the origin of their Responsorial Psalm music?)

    And along those same lines… I'm curious if there exists another sort of missal… essentially a "Gregorian Missal" (which most of us here are familar with), but without the music… that is, perhaps something that would have the readings in English (just like any other missal), but also with the Latin words to the propers, and English translations, too. That might save a lot of us from either having to provide translations ourselves, or from having to explain that the weird Latin stuff we sing is actually prescribed for the Mass.

    But more to the point of Charles' question: I think the answer lies in something that Jeffrey T. has eloquently mentioned many times here, namely that at its root, the Roman Rite is not tied to hymns, nor should it be. And convincing others of that requires not just persuasive oratory, but true catechesis as well.

    I wish I could provide an easier answer for you!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,173
    LOL. Didn't notice it before. That's the only Haugen song I like!
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Due to the translation changes (ordinary, responsorial psalm),
    this is the time for thinking and planning a lot, but purchasing very little.

    General questions:
    What is the purpose of a hymnal?
    What is the purpose of a missal?

    A Hymnal helps parishioners to sing because it has words for long songs
    and marks that somehow tell you to go up or down in pitch.

    A Missal ... (hmm) ... I do not know.

    Specific questions about the present system:
    Do parishioners follow along during the readings?
    Do parishioners sing the responsorial refrain?
    Does having responsorial refrain text and melody (hereafter Refrain) help?

    The Refrain is the only item that really matters when you are in the pews. When the new ordinary translations arrive, they can be pasted inside the hymnal front cover. The Refrain problem will remain.

    Personal commentary ...

    In the 1960s as a child I used a missal as I learned about the order and content of the Mass and the liturgical calendar, but with the arrival of vernacular, dialogue revisions, reading re-translations, a personal missal became useless, and a distraction. Along came the pulp worship aid to provide the latest and greatest marching orders.

    In 1990, I purchased two missals for reference, not for Mass use. If I could have found a plastic-covered sheet of scripture citations for every Mass, it would have been sufficient to go with the several bible translations I owned. The missal catered to my laziness by presenting in a compact form the several citations, and hiding the annoying fragmentary nature of many individual citations. Missals do not foster understanding Bible structure or content flow. FYI the winners were Sunday Missal and Weekday Missal (both by Daughters of St Paul); there is no music in either as I rejected from consideration any missal that did have music.

    In 2000, my parish replaced a pulp-system with a hardbound hymnal by soliciting donations from parishioners ($10 gets a name plate). Currently in use: GIA Catholic Community Hymnal (several Mass settings, hymns, Sunday A B C [reading1, responsorial psalm and Refrain, reading2, Gospel], feast day and weekday psalm refrain texts, miscellaneous other items). The parish still gets 50 large-print pulp-system aids for the seniors who prefer them for Sundays and weekday use. With this minimum-of-50 we still get the entire "system". The annual parish cost (including licenses) is about 20% of what it used to be. I do not know how many parishioners refer to the readings section for anything other than the Refrain. The Refrain clashes between the two systems are discouraging senior participation on Sundays, not helpful for modeling good behavior to the younger generations. There are text conflicts between the two systems on weekdays too.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    Charles - can you get some deal put together that would make a good missal available to parishioners? That might get the pulp out of the pews. On the other hand, I think everyone's holding off because of the Lectionary revisions.

    I'm a big hand missal fan because I have the attention span of an irritable flea, but my Daily Roman Missal warn't cheap.