Roman Missal and Resources

The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

The Roman Missal

A Precious Gift - He Taonga Kahurangi

The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

In 2002, Saint John Paul II introduced a new edition of the Missale Romanum for use in the Catholic Church.  Soon after the complex work of translating the text from Latin into English began.  This work of translation was undertaken by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) on behalf of individual English-speaking episcopal conferences, such as New Zealand.

The texts of this third edition of the Roman Missal that we now use were first approved by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference in 2009, and confirmed for use by the Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments on 8 April 20011.  Churches, schools and communities began praying these texts on the First Sunday of Advent 2011.  Of particular significance are the bi-lingual provision of prayers in Māori and in English and the use of graphics that reflect this treasured relationship.

At the time of publication, Cardinal Dew wrote:

A taonga kahurangi, a precious gift, has been given to you by the Church. Take it. Treasure it. Pray it.

Sample Acknowledgements

The following samples demonstrate copyright acknowledgements from the New Zealand Roman Missal and Lectionary that may be needed for PowerPoints or booklets. (These are additional to music copyright acknowledgements). Please note you only acknowledge what you have copied.

Mass Sample

This sample shows acknowledgements that may be needed for parish or school Mass, depending on what is copied. Please note the scripture acknowledgement will vary depending on the translation being used.

Text Excerpts from the English translation of The New Zealand Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from The Jerusalem Bible © 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd and Doubleday and Company Ltd, and used with permission of the publishers.

The Grail (Psalms and canticles from the lectionary and liturgy of the hours): Psalm texts from The Psalms: A New Translation © 1963 The Grail (England), published by HarperCollins, and used by permission of the publishers.

The English translation of the Psalm response from The Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

The English translation of the Alleluia and Gospel verse from The Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

The English translation of the Lenten Acclamation from The Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997 International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

For further information please contact Louise Campbell, Director - National Liturgy Office.

Roman Missal Graphics

Click on the link for the complete set of illustrations that are included in the New Zealand edition of the Roman Missal.

As part of the preparation for the national edition of the Roman Missal (Third Edition), the Bishops commissioned a set of illustrations that would be unmistakably of Aotearoa New Zealand. The National Liturgy Office prepared a brief then approached Fitzbeck Creative of Wellington to submit a set of draft drawings. After much discussion and many redactions the final illustrations were presented to the Bishops for their approval.

The complete set of illustrations can be accessed through the resources icon above or by clicking on the link in the banner above.

Illustrations are free for use, please acknowledge the NZCBC for copyright.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal

New Zealand edition

At the front of the Roman Missal is a particular set of norms and Instructions that guide priests and people in the prescribed manner of celebrating the Mass.  This text demonstrates the continuity and consistency of tradition in the celebration of the Eucharist, from the time of the Last Supper to the present day, even as new elements have been introduced.

Click on the red button to access the full text of the GIRM.

The Chapter Headings provide an excellent outline of the formational material to be accessed through this important text:


Chapter I: The Importance and Dignity of the Celebration of the Eucharist

Chapter II: The Structure of the Mass, Its Elements, and Its Parts

Chapter III: Duties and Ministries in the Mass

Chapter IV: The Different Forms of Celebrating Mass

Chapter V: The Arrangement and Ornamentation of Churches for the Celebration of the Eucharist

Chapter VI: The Requisites for the Celebration of Mass

Chapter VII: The Choice of the Mass and Its Parts

Chapter VIII: Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions and Masses for the Dead

Chapter IX: Adaptations within the Competence of Bishops and Bishops’ Conferences

The Lectionary

The lectionary is the book that presents the contents of the scriptures that are proclaimed at Mass during the Liturgy of the Word.

The lectionary that we use now was planned in the late 1960’s as part of the renewal of the liturgy begun by the Second Vatican Council.  It provides an enormous number of scripture passages that are carefully chosen to connect with the liturgical year and reflect the extraordinary history of our faith.

On any given Sunday at Mass, Catholics from around the world will ‘hear’ the same 4 passages from the scriptures (Bible), proclaimed in their own language.

  • a reading from a book written before the time of Jesus (eg a reading from the book of Nehemiah) which will have a strong connection to the gospel we hear later
  • an ancient hymn that may have been composed for use in the temple in Jerusalem, that we refer to as the Responsorial Psalm that often carries a reflection on the message of the first reading
  • a portion of a letter that was written by one of the first generation of Christians trying to live the “Jesus way of life” (e.g. a reading from the Letter of Paul to the Galatians)  This reading stands on its own as a piece of teaching from the early Christian community.
  • a story from one of the gospels that brings us the teaching of Jesus within the context of his life and person.  This message forms the heart of the Liturgy of the Word.  We stand to listen to this message and welcome it with song.

Sunday by Sunday our hearts, minds and lives are opened to God’s living Word, when we gather to celebrate the Mass.  As the word of God is broken open, absorbed and digested, it begins to do its work in us: indeed the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews $: 12)  “In other words, the living Word of God, Jesus Christ, enters into the depth of our being and begins the process of breaking us open.  The Word of God becomes the source and means of conversion for the individual and the community.” (Elio Capra, SDB)

The Catholic Diocese of Christchurch have made daily readings available on their website. Click on Resources icon above to access this.

Become One Body One Spirit in Christ

A catechetical introduction to the Roman Missal

What is it?

Become One Body One Spirit in Christ is an interactive DVD resource commissioned by the bishops of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) to assist it member countries to introduce the Roman Missal (Third Edition).

This comprehensive resource is offered by ICEL as a tool to assist the English-speaking Catholic communities around the world to prepare themselves for the introduction of the new Roman Missal.

As you delve into the depths of this resource you will become quickly aware of the enormous amounts of information at your fingertips. There are essays, interviews, Church documents, video clips and much more.

At first glance Become One Body One Spirit in Christ could be somewhat daunting in its size and scope. It is suggested that you consider this resource as you would a library: a place that you visit on a number of occasions either to browse for interest’s sake or to search out particular information.

Become One Body One Spirit in Christ is divided into five pathways:

  • Exploring the Mass
  • Receiving this English Translation
  • Crafting the Art of Liturgy
  • Celebrating the Eucharist
  • Living a Eucharistic Life

Each of these pathways has a number of sub-sections that take you more deeply into a particular topic.

There is no one way to use this resource; there is no one starting point. Each of the pathways is an independent topic. You can start at whichever point best suits your needs and requirements. The best way to approach this resource is just “to jump in boots and all”. I encourage you to click on the different links to discover where they take you. Play the various video clips. Read the excellent foundational essays. Browse through the numerous Church documents.

Once you have become familiar with how this resource works and how to navigate your way through the pathways and their options, then you are ready to plan how best to use Become One Body One Spirit in Christ to form and instruct your parish community, your ministers, yourself.

Become One Body One Spirit in Christ is a tool to help you. To make the most of it you need to use it. For those who are “at home” with computers and technology, this will be no problem at all; for those who are less comfortable with this medium, I suggest you just start “clicking” with your mouse; for those who are afraid of these things, find someone in your community who can assist you.


How can I use it?

This resource will be of use to:

  • Presiders.
  • Parish liturgy groups.
  • School liturgy groups.
  • Directors of Religious Studies.
  • Liturgical ministers: Musicians, Readers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion…
  • RCIA coordinators.

Download a PDF of the process that can be used with different groups by clicking on the Resources icon above.

What's the cost? Where can I get a copy?

Become One Body One Spirit in Christ is on special! $20.00 NZD (GST and postage & packing included).

To order a copy of Become One Body One Spirit in Christ send an email to:

Diocesan Assistance

Judith Courtney (Auckland)
09 360 3042

Robert Garon (Hamilton)
027 627 4475

Mark Richards (Palmerston North)
06 358-8079

Fr Patrick Bridgman (Wellington)
04 496-1796

Marianne Daly (Christchurch)
03 353-0758

Fr Anthony Harrison (Dunedin)
03 442-8414

Danny Karatea-Goddard (Te Runanga)
06 358-8079


Missal Catechesis cvr

Catechesis Booklet

Fr Paul Turner wrote this booklet in 2009 and allowed the New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference to adapt its content for use in this country.
The booklets were distributed widely throughout New Zealand on Sunday, 18 July 2010, as part of the bishops' strategy for the introduction of the Roman Missal (Third Edition) to the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Download the booklet by clicking on the Resource icon above.

Peoples Missalette cvr


New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference, New Words. Deeper Meaning. Same Mass. - The Missalette

Fr Paul Turner's booklet mentioned above has been a great success. It has been widely distributed throughout the country and New Zealand Catholics have found Fr Paul's explanations of new English Mass texts clear and accessible.

Once approval of the "Order of Mass" was received from Rome the New Zealand Bishops published New Words. Deeper Meaning. Same Mass - The Missalette as a means of helping Mass-goers to pray with the new texts and to make them part of their own personal prayer.

Download the booklet by clicking on the Resource icon above.

Fr Paul Turner Workshops

In preparation for the introduction of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal to the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, the bishops have invited Fr Paul Turner to present a number of workshops throughout the country. Fr Turner will present workshops to the priests of the six dioceses as well as a National Workshop for Deacons and Liturgical Ministers.

Paul Turner is pastor of Saint Munchin Parish in Cameron, Missouri and its mission, Saint Aloysius in Maysville. A priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, he holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Sant'Anselmo in Rome.

Fr Paul Turner

A prolific writer, Fr Paul's books include A Guide to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (LTP, 2002) and Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass (The Liturgical Press, 2006).

He is a former President of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a team member for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. He serves as a facilitator for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

To download Fr Turner's talks, click on the Resources icon above.

Five ways to “get more” out of Mass

Your baptismal rights and responsibilities

When we graduate, our diploma says we have “rights and responsibilities” that our degree confers on us. So too does our baptism. In the Mass, you have the right to understand what you are doing and to participate as fully as possible. It’s your pastor’s duty to ensure that you’re aware of what’s happening, why, and what it means. This happens through good catechesis, but it also happens naturally when the Mass is celebrated well. It’s also the pastor’s duty to make sure you can actively engage in the Mass. This is because your full participation in the Mass is actually the best way you learn how to be Christian! The Church says it this way: [T]his full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 11) Although it’s your pastor’s duty to ensure your liturgical rights, you also have responsibilities. That responsibility is to come to Mass prepared and ready to participate in it as best you can. Here are five ways to help you do just that.


1) Pray daily

Praying is a skill you have to practice. To participate as best we can at Sunday Mass, we each have to pray daily. Daily prayer attunes our eyes, ears, and hearts to God who is always present to us every moment of the day. This may be hard. Who has time to pray? But remember that prayer is first about listening to God; it’s not so much about saying things to God. So if all you can do is spend one minute of silence each day, that’s a great start to a discipline of prayer. Try to incorporate stillness along with that silence, and in that one minute, focus just on listening to God in the silence. As part of your daily prayer, find some time during the week to read the Scriptures assigned for the upcoming Sunday. (You can find them at the United States bishops’ website: Sunday shouldn’t be the first time you encounter these readings.

2) Bring more than yourself to Mass

If you want to get more out of Mass, you have to bring more than yourself to it.

  • In your mind and heart, bring the names of those people who have asked you to pray for them;
  • those you love who are hurting this week;
  • those people and places in the news that are suffering.
  • Bring your joys, things you are grateful for this week;
  • and your sorrows, your burdens, regrets and worries this week.
  • Bring kidding.

Giving money at Mass is really not optional. Our Christian sacrifice is not some vague theoretical idea. We have to give something of ourselves that is a real sacrifice—something we’d rather not give up. For most of us today, that’s money. The collection at Mass isn’t just a way the church pays its bills. It’s primarily the way we bring ourselves— “the work of human hands” along with the “fruit of the earth”—to the altar. That’s why the collection is brought forward with the bread and wine we use at Mass. The money we put in the basket helps the church do the mission of Christ—yes, by keeping the lights on, but also by funding the activities and people of the church who help the poor, teach the faith, prepare the liturgy, visit the sick. Giving money at Mass is also a way we express our trust in God. Remember the widow in the gospel who gave just two pennies to the Temple while others gave much more (Mk 12:41 -44; Lk 21:1-4)? Jesus said she gave the most because she gave out of her lack while the others gave from their surplus. So don’t worry if you can’t give a lot of money. Give what you can, then think about giving just a few dollars more. Lastly, bring your voice. Like putting money in the collection, singing is not optional. If you think you have an awful voice, make it part of your sacrifice to give back to God what God gave you! If you can’t bring yourself to do even that, then at least pick up the songbook and pretend to sing. Part of your responsibility is to encourage others to take their responsibility seriously too. Others will feel more comfortable singing if the people around them are singing or at least look like they’re singing too. So don’t hinder someone else’s singing by keeping silent when it’s time for everyone to sing.

3) Practice silence and stillness at Mass

Once you’ve been praying daily, it’s a little easier to do this step at Mass. Try to come to Mass early so you can have a few moments of silence before the Mass begins. Now, the room itself doesn’t have to be silent for you to find some quiet space in yourself to focus on what you’re about to do. So don’t go shushing those around you before Mass—that pretty much defeats the purpose of quieting yourself. It just puts you in a bad mood and doesn’t win you more friends at church. Remember, Jesus was able to fall asleep in the boat even while a storm raged all around him and his disciples (Mt 8:23-27). So be like Jesus if your neighbors aren’t as quiet as you’d like them to be. In fact, just start your Sunday Mass experience right and offer up a prayer for them. During Mass, try to practice some silence and stillness at three appointed times: 1. At the Act of Penitence at the beginning of Mass and after each invitation to pray (“Let us pray”); these silences give us time to call to mind our sins and to offer our own silent prayers. 2. After the readings and the homily; in these silences we meditate on what we’ve heard; and 3. after everyone has shared in Communion; here we each give thanks and praise to God in our hearts.

If you can, accompany your silence with some stillness as well. Closing your eyes, slowing your breathing, and quieting your body will help you to focus your mind and heart.

4) Actively seek Christ at Mass

There are several ways Christ is present at Mass. Christ is present most especially in the Eucharist, and most of us learned that Christ is also present in the person of the priest who leads us in prayer. Christ is also present in the Scriptures, so much so that when we hear them read aloud at Mass, we believe that it is Christ speaking. Last but perhaps most essentially, Christ is present in the people when they gather to sing and pray, for Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). This last place may be the hardest for us to see Christ readily (remember those noisy neighbors?). But to be part of the church, we have to gather with others and learn to pray well with them, too, even if we don’t know them or even like them.

  • So look for Christ in someone new at Mass,
  • and look for Christ in someone you might not get along with. That may be the person sitting right next to you; or it might be that person at church who simply gets on your nerves that day. Try to see them as God sees them: as one of his own beloved children.
  • See Christ as you share the Sign of Peace. Look the person in the eye, and see in them Christ in disguise.
  • Look for Christ in what you see: a piece of artwork in the church you’ve never noticed before; the mother who makes the Sign of the Cross on her baby; the way the sunlight shines through a piece of stained glass.
  • Then listen for Christ in the Scriptures and homily, but also in the songs and prayers, in the silence and in the chatter of toddlers, in the voices of those who sing and pray with you.

Finally, seek Christ in what you do. When you make the Sign of the Cross, do so slowly, intentionally. When you genuflect or bow, stand, sit, or kneel, do so reverently and actively, that is, attend to what you’re doing and place your focus on what’s happening in the Mass at that moment.

5) Take more than yourself and the bulletin home

As you leave the church, think of one thing that you want to remember from Mass this week. Maybe it’s a word or a song you heard, or a person or a thing at church you saw. Or a feeling you had at a particular moment at Mass. Take this memory with you, and pray with it during the week. Ask yourself what might God be asking you to do or learn this week because of this memory he has given you.