Q. 1. What is the purpose of the Sunday Missal?
A. 1. The Living with Christ "Sunday Missal" is promoted as a resource that helps Catholics prepare for and celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday and major feast day of the year.
While "Living with Christ" clearly states that the Sunday Missal is to help Catholics celebrate the Eucharist (attend Holy Mass), there is a tendency in many parishes to state in their Bulletins, "These handy resources contain the readings for each Sunday and some special feasts. Missals are intended to be used for home study, to read the readings before you come to church." [Source: St. Mary's Parish, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; January 27, 2013.]
Such comments are deceptive and contrary to the purpose of the publishing of the Sunday Missals. Tell me, what is better? Should you go to Mass and not understand a word that is being said because the new priest from Africa, India, or who knows where from, cannot speak English? Or is it best to try and follow the celebration of the Holy Mass with a Sunday Missal so at least you know what is being said? As far as I am concerned, the last choice is the best. I always used a missal and will always use a missal.
Another excellent benefit of the Sunday Missal, especially when you cannot understand the words of the foreign priest during the homily, is to pick up this book and reflect of the readings of the day, especially the Gospel Reading. At least you are doing something fruitful during the homily time rather than getting frustrated with the priest who cannot speak English. Such is the reality of the present age and the clergy and layperson have to accept it, like it or not!