What is the name of the book that priests read out of for mass?

I’m writing a story, just curious.

…the Gospel?

I believe it’s called the Lectionary. But, I could be wrong.

Basis for the following response: I am a sacristan :slight_smile:

Two books are used for the majority of Masses: the Lectionary (reading[s], responsorial Psalm and Gospel) and the Roman Missal (everything else). The priest uses both—the former to read the Gospel, the latter for, well, everything else.

Other books may be used in addition to or in place of one and/or the other if the Mass is particular, for example a nuptial or funeral Mass, but for Sunday Mass and Mass during the week it’ll be the Lectionary and Roman Missal.

Hope this helps.

Okay. Thank you very much… So what do you call the scepter like thing that the priest carries with water blessing the congregation at Easter? Read the Bible many times, read the Catechism and understood, but the rites and rituals and nomenclature of (God forgive me) the props…I’m awful…

Aspersory - the holy water bucket

Aspergillium - the sprinkler (usually made out of metal); a branch of hyssop may also be used.

Psalm 50:9 (DRV) “Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.” The antiphon “Asperges me” is sung during the rite of sprinkling.

Asperges me, Domine,
hyssopo, et mundabor:
lavabis me,
et super nivem dealbabor.
(Psalm 50:3) Miserere mei, Deus,
secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Thou wilt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
Thou wilt wash me, and I shall be washed whiter than snow.
Pity me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.

During the Easter season the “Vidi Aquam” is sung during the rite. (from Ezekiel 47)

Vidi aquam egredientem de templo,
a latere dextro, alleluia:
et omnes, ad quos pervenit aqua ista,
salvi facti sunt, et dicent, alleluia, alleluia.

V. Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus:
R. Quoniam in saeculum misericordia eius.

I saw water coming forth from the temple
on the right side, alleluia:
and all those to whom this water came
were saved, and shall say, alleluia, alleluia.

V. Give praise to the Lord, for He is good: (Psalm 117:1 DRV)
R. For His mercy endureth forever.

As mentioned, the readings are usually read from the Lectionary. The priest reads the words and the rubrics (i.e. the instructions printed in red, telling him what to do) out of the Missal. To make things a bit confusing, the word Sacramentary is nowadays used interchangeably with ‘Missal’, although originally the two words meant something slightly different.


I ***could ***be wrong. :wink:

Matthew 18:2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst,

3 and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, 3 you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

6 "Whoever causes one of these little ones 5 who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.


Interestingly, before the 2010 revision of the Missal in English-speaking countries, it was called the Sacramentary (an Anglicization of the Latin, which basically means “Book of the Sacraments”). People who celebrated the Extraordinary Form (called the ‘Tridentine Latin Mass’) associated it with the 1962 Missale Romanum (Roman Missal).

Funnily enough: the two are backwards. The 1962 Missale includes all of the Lectionary readings required to celebrate Holy Mass in the pages itself, meaning the entirety of the celebration of the Blessed Sacrament can theoretically be done with one book (in practice though, there’s usually altar cards so the celebrant and servers can read at the altar). So that can reasonably be called a sacramentary; whereas the English Sacramentary never had the Lectionary readings inside of it (every English-speaking country has a different preferred Bible translation), so it cannot be called more than a Missal.


The Missal contains the prayers of the Mass as well as the directions, or rules, for what is done at Mass.

The Gospel or Evangelium is the book that contains, yes, the Gospel readings.

The Lectionary is the book that contains the other readings and, variously, the Psalms, but these are usually but not always done by laypeople.

The stick that the priest uses to sprinkle water is called the Aspergilium. It looks like a baby rattle with holes in the ball. It has a bucket that goes with it.