Parts of the Roman Missal - Catholic Courier

Parts of the Roman Missal

The Roman Missal is comprised of seven major sections, plus introductory material (various decrees and papal letters, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the liturgical calendar) and appendices (additional chants, various blessings, sample General Intercessions, and optional prayers by the priest before and after Mass). This list defines those major sections:

Order of Mass

The overall structure of the Mass and the “fixed” parts of the Mass (those that are the same at any Mass), including the responses and acclamations of the people, the introductory Rites, the Eucharistic Prayer (including the collection of Prefaces), the prayers leading up to Holy Communion and the concluding rites, including Solemn Blessings and Prayers over the People.

Proper of Saints (and the Commons)

Prayers for the feast days of the various saints commemorated throughout the year, and a collection of prayers for use to honor a saint for whom no proper prayers are included.

Proper of Time

Mass formularies (containing the opening collect prayer, the prayer over the offerings and the prayer after Communion, and sometimes a solemn blessing) for the Sundays and weekdays of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter; the Sundays of Ordinary Time; and major feast days.

Ritual Masses

Prayers for Masses that are celebrated with particular rites, e.g., the dedication of a church, marriage, holy orders (ordination), religious profession, Christian initiation (baptism, confirmation), etc.

Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions

Prayers for Masses celebrated for particular religious or civil needs, e.g., for the pope, for vocations, for promoting harmony, for peace and justice, for elected officials, to avert storms, etc.

Votive Masses

Prayers for Masses for particular devotions such as Masses in honor of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary or the apostles.

Masses of the Dead

Prayers for funeral Masses or other commemorations of those who have died, particularly on the anniversary of death.


Based upon Roman Missal formational materials provided by the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2010.

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