Masses said before or after death?

:confused: My sister has inoperatable lung cancer and after 1 1/2 years of fighting it she has finally stopped her chemo and radiation treatments. My question is this: is it better for me to have a lot of masses said for her now while she is still living or have them said after she dies. Of course, I’ve been having them said for her all along her illness. Which does the soul more good, before or after you go? Obviously both, but I can’t afford that.

Thanks for your thoughts? Karen

How about one when you can afford it, before AND after she departs, if God calls her home?

Where are you having them celebrated? In the collar counties and Chicago, you can have a Mass said for a suggested offering of $10. Some of the “mail in” charities such as Our Lady of the Snows and others will have one said for $5 or even $2. Would that help you out in affordability? You can even ask to have them said for her intentions without making any offering.

You are in my prayers, and I am sorry for your troubles.

It’s a lovely thought to have one or more masses said for your sister during her life. If possible, the best thing would be to have HER attending Mass and/or receiving Communion as often as possible.

Prayers said by or for a person during their lifetime are, on my understanding, more beneficial than those said after death.

I am very sorry about your sister. I will keep her in my prayers.

I have read that it is more beneficial for a person to have a few masses said for them while they are still living versus a whole series of masses said for them after they have died. And if money is a concern, there is an organization, that says masses for any intention for only a $5.00 stipend. I would also enroll your sister in the FOSS (friends of suffering souls), so that masses can be said for her now and after she dies. Your only committment is to have one mass said a year for her and the other FOSS members. You can enroll anyone, living or deceased.

Here is the link for FOSS:

I am so sorry to hear about your dear sister. I will keep her in my prayers.

Is she Catholic? I think confession and the sacrament of extreme unction (sacrament of the sick) may help her also. As LilyM said earlier, commuion as often as possible is good, too.

If you have a copy of the Pieta prayerbook, it tells of at least 2 saints who have said that one mass said before death is worth many said afterward.

First let me say that I will keep her in my prayers. If I were in your position I would have as many masses offered for her as possible, even if she is a saint her masses will benefit those in purgatory which will merit her more glory in heaven.

how is this an issue? you can’t afford a token $5 donation for a couple of Masses? You are of course aware that there is no fee for Masses, although there is a customary stipend, but if you cannot afford even that nominal amount any priest will offer a Mass, or 2, or more, for your sister.

Why not attend some extra Masses for her, starting now?

I’m just wondering but why are Masses said for a person more beneficial before death than after?

I have always read that to mean that one mass attended by you before your death is worth more than many said for you after your death. On the other hand I have apreciated the power of masses said for me when I was ill or just in general.

I think it means ATTENDING one Mass YOURSELF is far better than having SOMEONE ELSE say many for you after you die.

A great doctor of the Church, St. Anself, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than many after it.

“The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death” - Pope Benedict XV

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