Mass Intentions

 

Mass Intentions for the Priest    

In one week, on two successive days, members of the parish came just a few minutes before the daily Mass and asked if the Mass could be offered for a deceased love one because it was the anniversary day of their loved one’s death.  Mostly, we remember the saints on the day of the year they left this earth. The intention already posted in the bulletin was “For the Community”.    The pastor of a parish is obligated to offer the Mass for the community at one of the parish Sunday Masses.  In latin this Mass is designated, “the Misa  Populo”.  When the “ For the Community” intention is scheduled for daily Masses throughout the week, it is because we have not received a request for a personal intention for the Mass of that day.  The established stipend for a mass intention by our diocese and our episcopal Conference of Kansas is $10.00.   It had been $5.00 since before I was ordained, to say for years.  In 2016, the Kansas Bishop’s conference proposed and accepted that it was time to value the intention according to the inflated dollar and raised the recommended stipend to $10.00.  Unfortunately, the response has not been to offer the same number of intentions, but according to the dollar amount that the faithful were accustomed, effectively reducing the intentions by one-half.  Also during this time, our parish has graciously received any personal intention to be added to the universal prayers of the Mass by the Deacons assisting at the Mass.   This has caused no little confusion, thinking that this is the same as the priest offering at the altar the specific intention given in the bulletin.  There is a great difference. This intention is a personal intention offered during the mass by the priest in the consecration of the Eucharist at the altar. We are all called to offer prayers “without ceasing”, St. Paul exhorts, but the prayer of the Mass offered by the Priest in the name of the community carrying a specific intention to the altar holds a special place of prestige of prayer in our faith. 

 

            The prayer for the deceased faithful is a time honored belief and tradition of the Catholic faith.  There is no more powerful prayer for their cleansing of sin than the sacrifice of the Mass.  Many parishes previously had more intentions than they could fill and therefore asked priests in the missions throughout the world to pray for those extra intentions, which by canon law, must be offered within the span of a year.  A priest, except in the occasion of the Mass for all souls, can only offer one particular intention in each Mass.  This is to prevent simony, or the trafficking in sacred goods.   Though the intention is published, it is not generally announced to avoid the misunderstanding that a Mass is only for the intention brought to the altar by the priest.  Rather the believe of the Church is that “many will be saved” through the offering of the Eucharist, each and every Eucharist.  Again, the inclusion of a specific prayer in the universal prayers of the Church reflects this truth of the every Mass being offered for the salvation of the whole world and further supports that the Mass intention is honored privately by the priest through the request of the faithful at the Altar.

 

            Please practice your faith through this unique offering of prayer.