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Missal FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Why do you always remove my favorite songs from the missal?

    Unlike hymnal programs in which song numbers never change, one of the great advantages of an annual or seasonal missal is the music repertoire, which changes each year with the addition of new music and keeps the repertoire current and fresh for Catholic church.

    In order to make room for new songs, other songs need to be removed otherwise more and more pages would be needed, which would lead to higher costs and the missal not fitting your pew rack eventually.

    Many factors are involved in deciding which songs to remove, including our Annual Music Survey, which measures song usage among the parishes we serve. Sometimes songs that are dear to some communities are removed and we regret the inconvenience, but those changes mean printing costs are kept lower. Keep in mind that, though it may not be the most convenient, songs that have been removed from the missal are always available at

  • Why do the song numbers in your missals and accompaniment books not match?

    Unlike hymnal programs in which song numbers never change, the music in our missals is updated annually. New songs are added and removed from their associated seasonal or topical sections each year resulting in the song numbers changing throughout the missal.

    OCP’s accompaniment books for the missals, on the other hand, are only revised every four or five years (depending on the missal) in order to keep costs low. They are arranged in alphabetical order by title and the numbers remain the same between revisions. New songs are added via a supplement that is added to the back of the book.

    Because of this, song numbers in the missals and in the accompaniment books do not match. To assist you in finding the accompaniment song numbers in our missals, notice that there is a small notation just above the left side of the top system of music for each song. That notation reads Acc #xxx and possibly CP3 #xxx. These are the song numbers in the accompaniment resource and in Choral Praise, Third Edition, when applicable.

    Another easy way to find the songs you’re looking for is the annual Master Index, available as a free downloadable pdf online at

  • Why do you change the texts of traditional hymns?

    Our editors don’t modify traditional hymn texts at will. While many hymn texts are in the public domain, some translations and texts are held in copyright by individual publishers. Our editors research the most authentic texts for traditional hymns. Although those texts may vary from the version your community is familiar with, it does not mean that OCP changed the text. It simply means that different versions or revised translations of the hymn were chosen for publication.

  • Why do you make changes to the Scripture readings and prayers in the missal?

    We don’t and we can’t. The Scripture readings for Mass come from the Lectionary for Mass as promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The ritual prayers of the Mass come from the revised Roman Missal, Third Edition.

  • Why do you have so many contemporary songs and Spanish/bilingual songs in your missal? My community does not need those.

    As liturgical music and liturgical book publishers, we are privileged to serve the wide-ranging needs of the universal Catholic Church in the United States. The needs of each parish community vary greatly and, thus, our repertoire is intended to serve and reflect the Catholic Church’s diversity.

  • Why are some of the psalms and other songs text-only? Please provide musical settings for all your songs.

    There are various factors behind the text-only format of some songs. For many psalms, the composer’s intent is for the refrain to be sung by the entire community and the verses to be sung by the cantor. This is the intention for some hymns and songs as well. Some songs are set to very familiar melodies (e.g., hymn tunes). Presenting them in text-only format allows us to save space, thereby providing space for more songs. Complete musical settings for most text-only songs can be purchased on

  • Are your missals recyclable?

    Yes! Our missals are printed with environmental-friendly soy and/or vegetable oils; the paper for this sacred music is sourced from sustainably managed forests. The covers can also be recycled. Check for paper-recycling policies and collection centers in your community. These recycling efforts are often administered by cities and/or counties.

  • Help me to understand your Annual Music Survey. You don’t really read through every survey, do you?

    Our Annual Music Survey is just one way that subscribers can tell us what songs they use in their community’s liturgical celebrations. Remember, the Annual Music Survey can be completed either in print or online at, usually from the beginning of June through the beginning of September.

    Know that we do read and include every survey in our statistic-gathering efforts. After the survey submission deadline, the responses are quickly calculated. When appropriate, we respond to individual questions either through a telephone conversation or an email. We use the survey results to guide our decisions on the repertoire to consider for the upcoming Church Year’s resources.

  • The range of your songs is too high, so we are not able to sing them all. Do you have lower-range versions available?

    We publish a low-key accompaniment book that provides a lower-key setting of nearly 150 songs. You can find it here: We are researching an easier way to provide a transposition option for particular songs, especially considering recent technological advances.

  • Are your missals available in digital editions?

    Our missal accompaniment books are available as eBooks, as are some of our hymnal accompaniment books. Go to to see all available eBooks.

    Since 2015, OCP has released a comprehensive online subscription for musicians and music directors. Convenient and accessible, Breaking Bread Digital Music Library is designed as a complement to a Breaking Bread missal subscription. Go to to learn more.

  • Can you provide an overview of your seasonal resources and their components?

    The best information can be found on OCP’s website at

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