Where to find the readings for a Catholic Mass

There are two things to think about if you want to find the readings for a Catholic Mass:
  • What day you want them for, and
  • What country you want them for.
In the Roman Catholic church, the Ordo Lectionum Missae (Order of the Readings for Mass) lists the Bible readings, and other prayers (called "the Propers")  meant to be used at Mass every day.  The official version is in Latin, and most countries also have a local-language (eg English, Spanish) translation of it.

Unfortunately it's not as simple as finding out the references from this book, and reading them from the Bible.

This is because the Bible was written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic - not in English, Spanish, nor even in Latin!  So the Bible readings that are used must be translations (unless your congregation speaks Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic). 

And that is where the difference comes from:  The Bible has been translated to each language many times.  Some of the English-language translations of the Bible are:
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • The Good News Bible
  • The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible
  • The New Revised Standard Version

The Catholic bishops in different countries have chosen to use different Bible translations - even when the countries officially speak the same language.  They did this so they could use a translation which is a good fit for the way English is spoken in their country.

Where to find the words for the readings for a given day

It used to be very difficult to find the readings for some countries on the internet.

But the Universalis website now has a Calendars feature, which lets you set your country and diocese, and then shows you the full readings for yesterday, today and the week ahead
  • Use Settings in the right hand side to choose your country / diocese, 
  • Choose the date on the right hand side
  • Choose "Readings at Mass" from the left panel.

(They have various apps, and the way the website works may change - but this is now it works now.)

About the translations used various English-speaking countries

These notes were started before the Universalis calendar feature was widely used.   They are kept for reference, and in case you need more detail about the translations used in different countries.

England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand

At the moment, the readings in these countries are from the Jerusalem Bible and the Grail Psalter (1963).
  • See here for more information about other versions which may be used in England.
  • See here for information about the Missal in New Zealand

Catholic Ireland gives the complete readings for today and for next Sunday  - from these translations.

The Irish bishops have announced that they will change to a different version,  but exact details are not available yet.

Sacred Space is prepared by the Irish Jesuits, and has the Gospel reading for each day in the current week.    But it uses a different translation, the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, 1989, 1995, prepared by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

United States of America (USA) and the Phillipines

The readings used in the USA are from the New American Bible 1986

The United States Catholic Bishops Conference (USCCB) website gives access to the readings from the is translation for most days of the year.


The readings are based on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

For the Sunday readings:
  • The Diocese of Edmonton provides this link to a tool which displays the text of the readings for each day:  it starts from today, and you can move forward or back one day at a time using the arrows beside the date.   (It's not totally clear who is providing the texts - no copyright statement is given.  But the sample I checked is consistent with NRSV texts quoted else where.).
  • Missals are available for purchase - in hard-copy only - from the Living with Christ missalette series.
  • The Archdiocese of Vancouver website displays the readings from Universalis.   (They used to be from the Jerusalem Bible, - same meanings, but different words - but now have correct calendar.)

Weekday missals are out of print - but electronic versions are available here  (at least until the hard-copy versions are reprinted, which isn't expected until an unknown date).

See more ...

  • Information about efforts to use the same translation in more English-speaking countries (some info about these),

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