Can I pay for a Mass to be offered for a living person?

It seems that Mass is always offered for a deceased person. Can I request a Mass for a living family member?

Of course!

Yes, of course. Just tell the priest or the secretary that it’s a Mass for the living and they will give you a card to send to the person indicating that a Mass is being offered in their honour.

Yes and it is a very good idea! After all, the Church teaches that this is the best possible prayer

“A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declared that a single Mass offered for one-self during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.”

Yes, and if the reason is very private (e.g., for their conversion, recovery from alcoholism or addiction, crisis pregnancy/contemplating abortion, etc.) and you don’t want a lot of people asking why you are having a Mass said for that person, you can ask the parish secretary to just list it in the bulletin as a “special intention” rather than listing the person’s name.

Technically, of course, you cannot pay for a Mass for any purpose! The Mass is the gift of God, paid for by the priceless sacrifice of Jesus.

It is appropriate, however, to offer a donation to defray the (ever-increasing) expenses of the parish or the order whose priest offers the Mass, whether for your intention, your wedding or your funeral.

If, however, you wanted to request a Mass and were unable to make a donation it would not be appropriate (or licit) for the priest to refuse to offer the Mass.

Just being picky . . .:wink:

It’s a common practice at shrines and in missionary religious orders. In fact, if you ever make a donation to a religious order, mission or shrine, join a Catholic auto club, etc, you’ll usually get requests in the mail for donations to various shrines. Enclosed in the request will be a Mass card. People send donations with the name of the person they want to be included in Mass intentions and send the card to the person. The card says “A Mass has been offered for you at such-and-such Shrine.”

So if you’ve been praying to a particular saint for the person, or they have a favorite saint, you could even check the internet to see if there is a shrine dedicated to the saint.

NOT just being picky! It is an important point. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this thread. You make the offering of money not only, in fact, not even mainly, to defray the expenses, but rather to offer something from yourself. The other part of the offering of yourself is that normally you would attend the Mass you have requested, if it is possible.

The confusion about this issue was one that fueled the Protestant protests. People were being told that they could buy various sacraments or blessings. I am sure that corrupt priests wanted to encourage this view. Giving money is always easier than giving yourself.

I am not sure how they do it if it is Masses offered in the OF, but our EF chaplain lists the Mass, for example, as for the H&S of John Doe. That tells us Mr. Doe is living and Mass is offered for his health and salvation. Some one else had a good suggestion of listing it as a special intention. I have seen those listed in both the OF and the EF.

Definitely. In fact, I had a Mass celebrated for myself for my birthday. The only problem was that the secretary put a little cross in front of my name :eek: and when the intention was read, my pv started to say “For the repose of the soul of …” and then I coughed and he looked at me and tried not to laugh. :smiley:

I usually write (living) by the name if it’s someone the parish doesn’t know. There is a young family that offers Mass for their daughters & for each other on their birthdays and for themselves as a couple on their wedding anniversary. They are the only ones with that name so seeing that people know it’s a Mass for the living. OTOH, the same family often has Masses offered for family in their home country and I always have them write whether the intentions are for deceased members or living members of the family.

It can always be celebrated for the general “For the health and salvation of ___.”

I would also suggest that you might enroll your family member into a spiritual organization such as the Marians of the Immaculate Conception (but there are many others). They have several intentions for which you can enroll your loved one (birthday, get well, sympathy, special occasion, every day, etc.) Here’s a link:
Members are rememberd at a daily mass.

Can you have a mass said for someone without a donation?

I dont know about that situation.Myself just have a Thanksgiving Mass (wonderful vacation)offered just a few days ago.I donated just $1.25(one dollar and twenty five cents),the required fee.You can also have a Petition Mass(asking for grace)

While a modest offering is perhaps the norm, I don’t believe there are too many parishes that actually “charge” for a Mass intention.

I’ve done them for birthdays and anniversaries, as well as when someone has passed.

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