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View Poll Results: What do you "pay" to have a Mass said at your parish?
$5 4 16.00%
$10 13 52.00%
$15 0 0%
$20 3 12.00%
$25 1 4.00%
$30 or above 1 4.00%
I have to pay to have a Mass said? 3 12.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old Oct 13, '05, 10:02 am
Debbie Debbie is offline
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Join Date: May 18, 2004
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Unhappy Mass Stipend

Greetings,

I was shamed by my parish's receptionist who commented on the stipends I wrote checks for when I requested several Masses to be said. Apparently, my fist was a bit too tight. Or is it? I would like to know what others "pay" to have a Mass said in their parish. Is it different for a Sunday Mass?

On another note, should something be said to the pastor? I don't think it was necessary to be told that someone paid $200 for a Mass because that's what he thought it was worth (she didn't say who).

Thanks for your insights!

Debbie

p.s. The poll is multiple choice. If you choose more than one, can you explain your thoughts? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old Oct 13, '05, 10:10 am
Penitent Penitent is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

My parish sets the amount, which is $10 for announced, $5 for unannounced...and the Mass dates are about six months in advance.

Penitent
  #3  
Old Oct 13, '05, 10:20 am
NetNuncio NetNuncio is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

For more information regarding this:

Mass Intentions

And More on Priests in Mortal Sin

ROME, FEB. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.

Q: I seldom ask my parish priest to offer up Masses for a particular need such as a sick person or someone that has just died. Usually I offer up myself the Masses I attend for these needs, but a friend told me this was not valid. My friend said that for the graces to be received by the person in need, a priest had to offer up the Mass. So my question is, may we offer up our Masses for departed souls or those in need without specifically asking the priest to say these Masses? -- A.K., Sacramento, California

A: Actually it is not a question of either/or but of and/and.

Any Catholic may offer up the Mass in which he or she participates for any good intention. Certainly, graces will accrue in accordance with the intensity of that person's participation and sincerity.

This is a genuine exercise of the royal or common priesthood of the faithful.

However, the custom of requesting a priest to offer the Mass for a specific intention, even when one cannot be physically present at the Mass, is a longstanding tradition in the Church.

This is because the Church considers the Mass as the greatest possible prayer of intercession insofar as it is the perfect offering of Christ to the Father by making present the paschal mystery of his death and resurrection.

Because of the particular role of the priest as mediator between God and man, acting "in persona Christi" when offering the holy sacrifice of the Mass, it is usually considered that special graces may be obtained when he applies the Mass to a particular intention.

The faithful generally make an offering, called a stipend, to the priest in order to apply the Mass to a specific intention. By making this offering, the faithful, by parting with something that is their own, associate themselves more intimately with Christ who offers himself in the sacred Host, and obtain thereby more abundant fruits (See Pope Paul VI's letter "Firma in Traditione" of June 13, 1974).

This sacrifice has an infinite value and indeed there is no objective limitation to the number of intentions that can be offered at any Mass.

The offering of a stipend is also a means whereby Catholic may contribute to the upkeep of the clergy, and the Church in general.

However, so as to avoid even the appearance of commerce in sacred things, the Church regulates the practice of offering and receiving stipends in canons 945-958 of the Code of Canon Law and in some later decrees on specific applications of the code.

Thus, in normal circumstances, a priest may only accept one stipend for any one Mass even though he may offer up the Mass for several intentions.

Likewise, if he celebrates more than one Mass a day he may keep only one stipend for his personal use and must apply the others to some charitable cause determined by the bishop, often to help support the seminary.

When a Mass cannot be celebrated in the place it was requested, the excess intentions are passed on to other priests or the local bishop. They must assure that all Mass requests are fulfilled within the space of one year.

Some places, dioceses, sanctuaries, etc., that receive more requests than can be celebrated within a year, often entrust these intentions and their stipends to other priests who may not have regular intentions, such as monks and retired priests.

In some cases the extra intentions are also sent to the Holy See, which distributes them throughout the world.

The stipend is usually a fairly small sum by the standards of the developed world. Yet, until recently, Mass intentions distributed by the Holy See to poor missionaries often proved to be of no small help in their endeavors.

Unfortunately, recent years have seen an increasing dearth of requests for the celebration of Masses in Western society and even the Holy See has felt the pinch.

Among the fruits hoped for from the current Year of the Eucharist is a renewed faith in the Mass as intercession and a consequent return in the faithful to the practice of asking for the celebration of Mass for specific intentions. Such a practice can be of such benefit to the faithful themselves and to so many other souls.

http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=66756

Last edited by Marian Carroll; Oct 13, '05 at 7:41 pm. Reason: ADDED URL
  #4  
Old Oct 13, '05, 12:13 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

At every parish I've been in the stipend has been $5. It's just a nominal offering, obviously not what the Mass is "worth."

The problem is not so much the stipend, but that there are only so many Masses per week, and we currently have something like a one year backlog of Mass offering requests. So Mass stipends and requests are often sent to the missions.
  #5  
Old Oct 13, '05, 2:24 pm
Marian Carroll Marian Carroll is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

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Last edited by Marian Carroll; Oct 13, '05 at 3:10 pm.
  #6  
Old Oct 13, '05, 3:07 pm
geojack geojack is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Our church is $10. We always have announcements about open dates. Stipends for funerals are much higher. When my father died the funeral director said $100 per priest (3) was the norm.
  #7  
Old Oct 13, '05, 6:46 pm
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Our parish Masses are $10. However, there are actual web sites, such as the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who ask smaller stipends.
  #8  
Old Oct 13, '05, 6:55 pm
Confiteor Confiteor is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie
Greetings,

I was shamed by my parish's receptionist who commented on the stipends I wrote checks for when I requested several Masses to be said. Apparently, my fist was a bit too tight. Or is it? I would like to know what others "pay" to have a Mass said in their parish. Is it different for a Sunday Mass?

On another note, should something be said to the pastor? I don't think it was necessary to be told that someone paid $200 for a Mass because that's what he thought it was worth (she didn't say who).

Thanks for your insights!

Debbie

p.s. The poll is multiple choice. If you choose more than one, can you explain your thoughts? Thanks!
Unless the customary stipend is published, she ought not have given you a hard time. $200 is ridiculous, and let's remember we're not paying for the worth of the Mass. How could we? I've given $20 typically, but I know that is probably twice the norm around the country. (But I live in an affluent area, and I think the norm might be higher here.) I suggest that you take advantage of the mass cards foe masses sent out by missionary groups --you can send what you like and have a Mass said for your intentions without some busybody making you feel bad for doing a good thing.
  #9  
Old Oct 13, '05, 6:59 pm
Dr. Bombay Dr. Bombay is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie
Greetings,

I was shamed by my parish's receptionist who commented on the stipends I wrote checks for when I requested several Masses to be said. Apparently, my fist was a bit too tight. Or is it? I would like to know what others "pay" to have a Mass said in their parish. Is it different for a Sunday Mass?

On another note, should something be said to the pastor? I don't think it was necessary to be told that someone paid $200 for a Mass because that's what he thought it was worth (she didn't say who).

Thanks for your insights!

Debbie

p.s. The poll is multiple choice. If you choose more than one, can you explain your thoughts? Thanks!
Yes, say something to your pastor. Parishoners need not be insulted by catty remarks from the parish office girl. And next time she says something like that, ask her to fetch you some coffee. Then, snap your fingers and say, "NOW!"

That's what I'd do. But then, I have a low tolerance for passive-aggressive BS.
  #10  
Old Oct 13, '05, 7:03 pm
WanderAimlessly WanderAimlessly is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Here is the link for the above zenit article:
http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=66756
PF
  #11  
Old Oct 14, '05, 12:39 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie
Greetings,

I was shamed by my parish's receptionist who commented on the stipends I wrote checks for when I requested several Masses to be said. !
your poll is about the amount of the stipends, but the situation that prompted your question was about the manner of your parish secretary. The practice of accepting nominal stipends has been amply defended by other posters, especially the canon law reference. Your secretary however was completely out of line and you should report her to the pastor at once. Such people do incalculable damage if they are not checked. By the way, as a DRE, I remind anyone out there who receives inappropriate, unprofessional or unChristian treatment from a DRE to report her as well.
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  #12  
Old Oct 15, '05, 2:17 pm
convert_2000 convert_2000 is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

I pay $10 but many pay $5 so I don't believe there's a set amount at our parish.
  #13  
Old Oct 15, '05, 4:27 pm
Joan M Joan M is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

How on earth can a parish set an amount for a Mass stipend. First of all, the Mass is not sold. A stipend is simply an offering, and a priest cannot refuse to offer a Mass for a person's intentions if that person is not in a position to be able to offer a stipend.

Secondly, the stipend is given to the priest, not the parish, so the parish secretary, or anyone else, has no business making any remarks, positive or negative about the amount of a stipend given for a Mass.

A funeral is a different thing, as is a wedding - there is the consideration of use of the church outside of normal hours, extra work for the sacristan, etc., but still they cannot "sell" funeral services or weddings, much less the Mass - this would be simony.

In my parish, a person requesting a Mass to be offered places the written request in an envelope, together with either cash or a cheque payable to the priest, seals it and either gives it directly to the priest, or drops it off at the parish office.
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  #14  
Old Oct 15, '05, 4:47 pm
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SMHW SMHW is offline
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Default Re: Mass Stipend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan M
Secondly, the stipend is given to the priest, not the parish, so the parish secretary, or anyone else, has no business making any remarks, positive or negative about the amount of a stipend given for a Mass.
I'm not sure at your parish but I think it is customary in the majority of American parishes that the requestor does not so much care that it is Fr. Joe who says a Mass for an intention. Generally the parishioner wants the 8:30 Mass on October 2 said for Maria Jones and he doesn't care which priest says the Mass. Such intentions are frequently announced in the Church bulletin and possibly during the Prayers of the Faithful. As a result, it ends up being the Church secretary who first handles the stipend, records the intention on the Church calendar, and sees that it gets to the proper priest.

In my parish you often have to request a Mass to be said many months in advance, especially if you wish it said on a particular date. Any priest asked to say a Mass will probably refer the requester to speak to the receptionist since the book of intentions is kept in the church office.

Now none of this means that there is a minimum stipend. But it does mean that a person requesting a Mass is probably going to ask the secretary what is the customary amount. And the secretary is going to name some value, largely as an aid to the person asking for the Mass.
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