Definition of missal in US English:



  • A book containing the texts used in the Catholic Mass throughout the year.

    ‘the bookcase contained an assortment of old prayer books, missals, and devotional pamphlets’
    ‘Christian influence on Viking art is demonstrated by the illuminated missals and gold reliquaries’
    • ‘An English Dominican friar named John Siferwas, he is also identified in the monumental missal commissioned for the Dorset abbey of Sherhorne at the beginning of the fifteenth century.’
    • ‘He remembers being very struck by a French missal, brought home by his father - an ardent Francophile.’
    • ‘Edith responded immediately by buying a missal and a catechism and preparing for baptism.’
    • ‘To be sure, seasonal slaughtering received some attention in the calendar pages of missals and books of hours, and the occasional secular manuscript illustrated butchers at work.’
    • ‘Participation was also an issue which concerned the Liturgical movement, and Pius XII praised those who sought to promote more engagement on the part of the laity with chant, dialogue responses, and use of missals.’
    • ‘In his memoirs, Milestones, for example, readers encounter a young Bavarian boy delighting in his first missal and in his early encounters with the church as an intimate, warm community of worship.’
    • ‘Also, he reports that I blame the problems of the Latin missal on the haste with which it was assembled.’
    • ‘An elderly woman with grey hair in a bun reads a missal on the District line, which runs under Westminster.’
    • ‘Michael suggests that the modern mass is not Protestant in nature, but let me use one example, a quote from the introduction to the new missal.’
    • ‘He thrust the latest missal back into the hands of the descendant of the prophet.’
    • ‘It was not until 1961 that a scholar noted that the missal in the British Museum Library had come from the chapter library, although this news did not reach Benevento until 1976.’
    • ‘The present book includes as appendices the rites of the 1962 and 1970 missals, as well as essays by liturgical scholars on diverse aspects of reforming the reform.’
    • ‘A rather sizable plaster statue of Therese held a prominent place in our living room, and her holy-card image was tucked into our Sunday missals.’
    • ‘After his father's death, their son Stephen, a member of our editorial board, found an old Latin missal that his father had apparently given his mother while they were courting.’
    • ‘The most pertinent example appears in a twelfth-century missal found in the San Isidoro library.’
    • ‘The final claim is for a twelfth-century Italian missal.’
    • ‘True, the Mass was then said in Latin but the people followed it in missals containing a reasonably accurate translation of the Latin.’
    • ‘He hastily opened the missal and started the opening prayer.’
    • ‘Among the gifts she received from everyone were flowers, gift vouchers and a weekday and Sunday missal.’
    • ‘Tiny pure white lace gloves and a mother-of-pearl prayer missal completed the ensemble.’


Middle English: from medieval Latin missale, neuter of ecclesiastical Latin missalis ‘relating to the Mass’, from missa ‘Mass’.