Every Mass is a wonderful gift of God to us. It is the center of the Church’s life, “the source and summit of the Christian life” because, in the celebration of the Mass, we are brought back to Jesus’ Last Supper, the first Mass celebrated. We consciously recall the love of God poured out for us in the life, death and resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ. At each Mass, all the intentions of all God’s people, both living and dead, are included. Yet, “in the established tradition of the Church, the faithful, moved by an ecclesial and religious sense, join to the Eucharistic sacrifice a kind of sacrifice of their own, as a way of taking part more intensely. They thus do their share to provide for the Church’s needs, especially the support of its ministers…” (Pope Paul VI, motu proprio “Firma in Traditione”)
Why Do Catholics offer Mass Intentions?
From the days of the early Church it has been common practice to offer Mass for the dead, as well as for others. Archaeologists have discovered epitaphs on tombs in the Roman catacombs, asking for prayers for the departed one. Numerous early Church Fathers witness to this practice. Recall from St. Augustine’s “Confessions” St. Monica’s one dying request, “that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.” Countless Christians have made this same request of their survivors.
In his encyclical Mirae caritatis (1902), Pope Leo XIII situated the offering of Mass for others in the true context of our concern for others, the Communion of Saints. “For faith teaches us, that although the venerable Sacrifice may be lawfully offered to God alone, yet it may be celebrated in honor of the saints reigning in heaven with God who has crowned them in order that we may gain for ourselves their patronage. And it may also be offered — in accordance with an apostolic tradition — for the purpose of expiating the sins of those of the brethren who, having died in the Lord, have not yet fully paid the penalty of their transgressions” (No. 12).
Father Ray Ryland, Ph.D., J.D., was an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.
The Church allows only one intention per Mass. In each Parish, however, the Diocese requires that one Mass a weekend be offered for the Members of SS Peter & Paul. We will do our best to honor specific date requests, but they are subject to be changed due to funerals, weather cancelations, etc. Mass intentions will be published in our bulletin. Though the Mass Intention need not be announced, the priest or lector will announce, if possible within the context of that Mass.
An individual may request to offer a Mass for several reasons: for example, in thanksgiving, for the intentions of another person (such as on a birthday or anniversary), or, as is most common, for the repose of the soul of someone who has died.
We ask a $10 donation per Mass intention. If you are unable to make a donation, but would still like to request a Mass, please reach out to us in the Parish Office.