Can you offer multiple Masses for the same person on the same day?

For example, if my aunt died and went to purgatory. And I requested Gregorian Series of 30 Masses from Jan 1st to Jan 30th for my aunt. And if someone else also requested 30 Masses from Jan 1st to Jan 30th for that same aunt. Then does it benefit her more to have 2 Masses offered for her each day instead of just one? Or does she only allowed to have 1 Mass offered for her each day?

A second question I have is: if you don’t want to pay for Mass intention, can you just attend Mass and offer your intention yourself silently during Mass? Or does it better (more merit) if you ̶p̶a̶y̶ donate for Mass intention?

First of all, one can’t pay for Mass intentions. One gives a donation (a gift) to the priest as a stipend but one does not pay for Mass intentions.

Maybe @edward_george1 or @InThePew can help since they’re priests.

1 Like

You can offer as many Masses for one person as you want, but since the benefit of even one Mass is huge, and the Gregorian Masses are supposed to let you have confidence that you did everything you could for the deceased soul, there’s really no need to offer two sets of them for the same deceased soul. It’s not a case of her not being allowed to have two sets of Gregorian Masses said for her, rather it’s that St. Gregory, who developed the Gregorian Mass, would have likely said that two sets weren’t needed.
If somehow two sets did get offered for your aunt, like someone else requested them for her not knowing you already had requested them, then the extra set wouldn’t go to waste because God would just use them to help other deceased souls or to accomplish other good purposes.

As Margaret-Ann said, we don’t “pay for Mass intention”. You are expected to make a donation when you have a Mass said, if you have the money to pay the donation. If you don’t have the money, you can request to have a Mass said for your intention without any donation. In that case they will usually say one Mass for your intention and not make you give a donation. But typically for the special things like Gregorian Masses and Perpetual Enrollments, they would expect a donation as those things involve many Masses being said and special arrangements being made. There is one exception I know of - the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society lets you enroll names of as many people as you want and does not ask for a donation, and priests say Masses for all the names sent in.

You are also perfectly free to just go to Mass and offer your own Mass and communion for the intention. I don’t think that provides less merit or benefit than if you offered a donation to have a Mass said. If I am missing something there, then hopefully the priest or another poster can correct me.


Offering more masses doesn’t give any more benefit to the one being prayed for - in some ways, offering masses is as much about us and our charity as it is the one being prayed for. As @Tis_Bearself has said, prayers are never wasted - but allocated by God as He sees fit. The late great Msgr Ronald Knox suggested that “extra” prayers, over and above what was needed, were allocated to those with no one to pray for them.

While an offering for the mass intention is of course welcome it’s definitely not compulsory - simony (the selling of holy things) is regarded as a very serious offence by the Church. So a priest is obliged to accept a mass intention and shouldn’t discriminate between paid intentions and unpaid ones.

I don’t see anything wrong (in principle at least) with offering a mass for multiple intentions - there is, after all, no limits to God’s grace; however there is a whole lot wrong with a priest keeping multiple stipends! My diocese requires its priests who receive a second offering on the same day to send it to the seminary in order to guard against the accumulation of (paid) intentions. My interpretation of this is, if I already have an intention for the mass I’m to celebrate (be it paid or unpaid), then any money I receive for the second intention goes to the seminary even though I’ll carry the intention over to the next mass. It’s hard to explain this so I usually just say something like “this mass is offered for X and we also remember in a special way Y”. This really only matters when the intention is date specific (e.g. an anniversary).

Finally, anyone can of course offer their own mass (the one they participate in) for a particular intention. I wouldn’t claim that this is any more or less effective or than a mass offered by a priest but, again, there’s the whole charity thing…

1 Like

I don’t understand why do people have to budget money for Mass intention when their loved one die if they can just simply attend the Mass and offer Mass intention themselves and the benefit is still the same for their deceased loved one? Does the donating for Mass intention allow people who too busy to attend Mass still be able to offer Mass to their loved one?

If I understand you correctly, Father, you are saying that it makes no different for the deceased person whether I attend Mass and offer the Mass myself or donating to the priest to offer the Mass for me? And the only difference is that if I donate, then it also benefit me by my almsgiving? So instead of donating to the priest, I could have just donate that money to charity?

On another question, can you go overboard and request multiple sets of Perpetual Mass Enrollment for your deceased loved one to make sure they get to heaven ASAP?

For a priest, offering mass for someone is an act of charity - just as offering money for a mass to be said for someone is an act of charity. Yes, you could donate that money to charity instead but then that’s kind of like saying why should you put into the collection each week - or buy a gift for someone - but donate to (another) charity instead. Mass stipends aren’t supposed to be onerous to the point of having to budget for them nor are they supposed to be a significant source of income for priests (religious order priests I know have to hand the money over to their order). So it’s not so much about effectiveness as about generosity and charity. Also remember that our faith isn’t about us as individuals but as members of a community - so when a mass is offered by a priest (in a parish at least) in some ways the whole community is being asked to pray for that person.

You can request as many perpetual masses as you like and can afford but that’s not how it works. For starters, perpetual masses aren’t offered solely for your intention but for the intentions of all enrolled (basically like me offering Sunday mass for my parishioners each week). Besides that of course, salvation isn’t based on some sort of points system with our prayers able to speed up the process. Instead it happens in God’s time not our and in His way not ours. Praying for the dead is, if anything, more about us than them - it is, after all an act of mercy!

1 Like

I’m not sure if this is some sort of cultural difference where we’re not understanding each other, but nobody I know “budgets money when their loved one dies” to have Masses said. The suggested Mass donation in USA is about 10 to 15 dollars and that’s about what the average US person spends on a fast food meal. Frankly, it’s cheap. Furthermore like I said if someone is really poor and can’t afford 10 dollars, which is rare in USA but I suppose it could happen, the priest will say a Mass without a donation needing to be made.

I have Gregorian Masses said pretty frequently for family and friends who have died. I consider it a charitable donation to the monastery or order or mission that says the Masses, and in addition the soul gets the benefit of the Masses. I can afford it. I think most people who have Masses said consider the donation to be a charitable donation just like when they put money in the Church collection. It’s like if we donated 50 dollars to the American Heart Association in memory of our relative, only it’s going to the church.

Of course we’ll also offer prayers and Masses on our own, but when you have the Mass said you are also donating to the Church in the loved one’s name and we like to do that.

Yes, it is possible to have multiple masses offered up for someone on the same day.

I digress, so advanced apologies, but this seems a way into asking a question that I think is related. How are priests paid today? I know a Mass stipend was at one time an act of charity because it formed part of the priest’s income. Are priests nowadays paid a basic salary? Can a stipend really help out a priest? I may be labouring under a misunderstanding but I believe in a lot of places priests may only accept one stipend per day. Any over and above that must go to the diocese. For the avoidance of doubt I’m basically asking about secular priests. I know regular priests because of their vow of poverty would be required to give any and all stipends to their institute or society.

$10 - $15 on 1 fast food meal?! A McDonald meal is about $5. If fast food cost $15 a meal then you might as well eat at a restaurant. You must live in NYC or Silicon Valley.
When I moved to the US, I lived in a kind of ghetto place in GA and Mass is $20 at my parish there which isn’t really expensive. But it was crazy to heard that in Vietnam, Mass is 200k VND or $10 USD which is crazy because the cost of living in Vietnam is 10 times cheaper than in the US yet the cost of Mass is the same as many places in the US. No wonder why there are much less people who request Mass intention in Vietnam!

I don’t know which McD’s you go to. I myself can get a McD’s meal for 5 dollars if all I order is the dollar hamburger, smallest fries and a drink, and the prices are the same regardless of whether I’m in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc. Most of the burgers on McD’s menu cost 5 dollars by themselves these days, or even more. I actually make a game out of picking food and using coupons to eat for under 5 bucks at McD’s. The amount of food I get for that amount is enough for a small woman with not much appetite but would not be enough for my husband or the average teenage boy. Also, if you go to Wendys or most other fast food places the prices are even higher than McD’s.

I’ve been to NYC and Silicon Valley many times and yeah the prices for everything there are worse, but I don’t live there or work there regularly.

20 dollars is on the high side for Mass stipends in USA based on my experience, I can always find a church in my areas where the suggested donation is 10 or 15. Also, you can go on any number of websites for the missions or monasteries and request a Mass and usually the suggested donation is about 10 dollars. If the mission is in some very poor country then the 10 dollars goes a long way as you said so I like to have Masses said there, they are always available to hear my Masses too whereas in a parish often they’re booked up already for months.

It varies from diocese to diocese, country to country. In some places the priest’s income comes largely from the Christmas and Easter collections (no doubt supplemented by the diocese in the case of poorer parishes), supplemented by mass stipends and offerings for baptisms/weddings/funerals. So, for priests in these places - and especially in small and/or poorer parishes, the mass stipends are not insignificant! In some parts of the world, mass stipends are all some priests have to survive on and so some societies collect stipends to send to these priests who will in turn offer mass for the donor’s intentions.

Where I am, priests receive a monthly stipend taken from the collection (again backstopped by the diocese) which does make things very equal between parishes (and priests!)

That’s certainly true where I am and I think in most parts of the world - the intention being to stop priests accumulating stipends!


Thanks, Father, that was interesting.

1 Like

I am a small woman LOL. Back when I was still eating fast food, I always get two $1 burgers at McD because it was the cheapest way to eat while being out all day between classes and job. If I was to get 1 big “fancier” burger, then that would be around $5. People always blame McD for causing obesity, but no one say a meal has to include fries and soda.

Yeah, it’s all in what you choose off the menu. I once knew a guy who was really broke because he was a poor student, and he had figured out how to order the cheapest burgers from McDs that met his nutritional needs like protein, etc. He did this every day and he said the counter staff started getting nasty with him because he never bought the fries, soda pop etc which is how they make their money but those things are unhealthy and don’t have nutritional value, so he didn’t spend his money on them. According to him, McD’s actually loses money on its cheaper burgers.

I see what other people order while I’m getting my dollar burger and dollar black coffee and it’s really crazy to me how much they are spending there. Like for breakfast somebody will be buying just 3 items and spending over 10 dollars. Once in a while I will splurge and buy one of their 5 dollar or 6 dollar burgers but it’s rare and I usually try to use a BOGO coupon and put the other burger in the fridge for the next day. I do like the fries but you can usually find a coupon for getting large fries cheap, I don’t like paying 3 dollars for them and prefer to pay 1 or 2 dollars.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit