Multiple Mass Intentions?

I went to Mass twice this weekend. Two different parishes. At both, during the petitions, there were numerous names of the faithful departed “For whom this Mass is offered.”

Am I mistaken, or is this still improper? The parish takes a stipend for each intention, so conceiveably, they can collect $100 & up for a weekend. It used to be if multiple requests were made, the extras were sent to different priests. I’m not trying to be overly scrupulous, but aside from the loooonnnng list of names (there must have been 8 at the last Mass), it could be a little disconcerting to the loved ones attending.

Am I wrong? Please set me straight here.

I think this is what you’re talking about:

“Can. 948 - Separate Masses are to be applied for the intentions of those for whom a single offering, although small, has been given and accepted.”

Unless the person offering the stipend had a list of intentions, there should only be one per Mass.

Hope that helps.

Thank you, it does help. The bulleting lists the intentions & who they’re requested by, and they’re all different.

Do you have any suggestions as to how this subject could be broached?

One way to go about it would be to ask the pastor to clear up your confusion about the difference betweeen what the canon says and what appears to be happening at the parish. The answer may not be immediately satisfying, but if it gives the pastor food for reflection, you may eventually see a correction of the pratice.

Hope that helps.

I have never heard of multiple Mass dedications but after that is read some parishes also include a list of folks requesting prayer during the week…

I don’t know the particulars of the parishes in question, but I do know that we genealogists often send money to the parish for masses in the memories of our loved ones after the parish does “look ups” for us. It would be nothing for a parish to look up 8, 10 or even 20 people. If I send $25 with my request for info, they may very well put all of the intentions into one mass and use the rest to cover copying and postage charges.

This practice (called “collective” intentions) has been allowed under controlled circumstances since 1991, according to this document from the Congregation for the Clergy. If it is approved in your diocese, and if other conditions are met (eg the faithful have consented to collecting the intentions), it should not be a problem.

(Oh, and the celebrant keeps only a single stipend, the excess being lawfully sent to the bishop)


Pardon me for being skeptical, but I think the excess should “lawfully” be sent back to the people requesting the masses…not bumped up to the Bishop.

I have not heard of this practice, but I imagine it’s a result of the fact that many people want a Sunday Mass intention, and there are only 52 weeks per year times 2 or 3 or 4 Masses per weekend. The parish may be doubling-up to satisfy the requests.

In our Parish, Sunday intentions are “sold out” many months in advance, but a daily Mass intention can sometimes be had two weeks hence. On occasion I have given someone a Mass card, and they commented that I must have a lot of “pull” to be able to get one so quickly. I tell them it’s a function of holiness. :rolleyes:

[quote=loyola rambler]Pardon me for being skeptical, but I think the excess should “lawfully” be sent back to the people requesting the masses…not bumped up to the Bishop.

Can. 951 §1 A priest who celebrates a number of Masses on the same day may apply each Mass for the intention for which an offering was made, subject however to the rule that, apart from Christmas Day, he may retain for himself the offering for only one Mass; the others he is to transmit to purposes prescribed by the Ordinary, while allowing for some compensation on the ground of an extrinsic title.


Sorry, tee, I wasn’t being snippy about you. I was being snippy about the bishops saying it was only right that they get the money. The real law (you know, the one that has lots of cops and lawyers who aren’t priests) would have a problem with the whole concept. If I overpay, then I should get a refund…not have my refund sent to somebody in another town.

I like

art. 7

It is also necessary that the faithful should be instructed in this matter through a specific catechesis, whose main points are as follows: the deep theological meaning of the offering given to the priest for the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the goal of which is especially to prevent the danger of scandal through the appearance of buying and selling the sacred; the ascetical importance of almsgiving in Christian life, which Jesus himself taught, of which the offering for the celebration of Masses is an outstanding form; the sharing of goods, through which by their offering for Mass intentions the faithful contribute to the support of the sacred ministers and the fulfillment of the Church’s apostolic activity.

How many have heard a homily dedicated to this?

The priest is entitled to keep one intention for one Mass on a given day. The stipends for any other Mass(es) said would be given as the Ordinary has directed. It does not assume multiple intentions and stipends offered for the same Mass which is what I think was meant when reference was made to making a refund.

As stated in the Decree on Mass Stipends referenced in a previous post, a priest may, for example, let all know that he will combine all offerings requested for Mother’s Day at a special Mass in the parish. It should be understood that any excess for the combined Mass or the extra Masses said in a day will be used as the bishop decrees. In our diocese it goes to the clergy relief fund (retirement fund).

art. 2

[size=3]1. In cases in which the people making the offering, have been previously explicitly informed and have freely consented to combining their offerings in a single offering, their intentions can be satisfied with a single Mass celebrated according to a “collective” intention.[/size]

art. 3

  1. In cases described in art. 2, par. 1, it is licit for the celebrant to keep the amount of the offering established by the diocese.

In my parishes, I definitely do not have the problem of multiple Mass intentions for any Mass offered. We may get 5 Mass requests after a funeral. With only 8 or so funerals a year, that leaves a lot of Masses that are in need of particular intentions. We get a small handful of intentions for other needs during the course of the year. Thankfully the diocese has some intentions that they can pass on to us.:slight_smile: To bad some of these parishes that have an excess don’t think about some of us smaller parishes in need of intentions. I guess that’s my :twocents: worth.

At our parish for years the Mass intentions for the entire weekend which was 5 Masses were read at each Mass. So the Mass was still offered for the intentions of only those 5. I always thought it was kind of neat to have Mass offered on a Sunday cause I felt it was like getting 5 times the amount of prayers. When the names are mentioned at each Mass it was all the more people who prayed for that soul. :slight_smile: But our new Priest does not even say the name which to me is worse because I do always try to remember that name during my prayers for the day!:frowning:

Also the stipend is not requested in working in a parish if someone came in to have a Mass said we never said that will be $10.00. A donation of $10.00 is suggested only. But many Masses are said that a donation has not been paid.:thumbsup: Years ago the stipend was mandatory because the priests did not receive a paycheck. But this is no longer the case.

Our mass calendar is filled up - for Sunday’s and weekdays very early in the year. Three are allowed for every mass including weekdays. A stipend is collected for each and the priest keeps one and sends the balance to the diocese. Our stipend here is very small - only $5. Canadian which is only pennies in US money ;). Sunday masses are actually not said for individuals but for the whole parish.

With regard to “catechising the faithful”, not long ago, our diocese published a series of three pamphlets explaining the concept - making it clear that you’re not “buying a mass”.


[quote=Patrick] Sunday masses are actually not said for individuals but for the whole parish.

[size=3] [/size]Pastors are required to have one Mass each Sunday and Holy Day for the people under his care. Why they do not use some of the other intentions in your parish for other Masses on Sunday is a question to be asked.

Three are allowed for every mass including weekdays

Are three “allowed” or are three scheduled instead of sending excess Mass intentions to mission areas within ones own diocese or around the world? Even $5 Canadian is a lot to a missionary in Africa. A Mass said in ones home parish is no more valid than the Mass said elsewhere. It is nice when one requests a Mass to be able to attend, but I find that many people request Masses after funerals, etc, that don’t live anywhere close to the parish. Those would be good Masses to pass on to other priests.

Toni, there is to be one intention applied to one Mass. Your new pastor is following the correct intentions of Mass intentions. I never say the names either. I’m sure that when I forget to mention a name, everyone will think that I have something against the one I forgot the mention. It might be your new pastor’s form of preventing a problem down the road. We do list our intentions in the bulletin each week which is a big help.:slight_smile: In the one parish that we have a person compose the prayers of the faithful the intention is mentioned at that time. It is sometimes a little tacky to say, “For the intentions of the donor, for whom this Mass is being offered.” That is sometimes all we get about the intentions we recieve from the diocese. :frowning:

Thank you Father I know that you are correct. And yes many times I am glad that some names are not mentioned, for personal reasons.

i used to belong to a parish where they prayed for everyone who had died that week----they were not offering the mass for these people only mentioning their names in the prayers of the faithful----is that what was happening???

I work at a Catholic Church that allows more than one intention per Mass. The reason is that if we only had one intention per Mass people would be waiting years for certain dates, anniversary dates of death, birthdays etc. We usually limit the number to 5. We have daily Mass plus 4 Masses on Sunday. So we are not usually bogged down with too many intentions. As long as the intention is announced, people are happy. :slight_smile:

Our parish doesn’t have that problem, if I request a Mass today it will be celebrated within a few weeks unless I want it on a Saturday (Sunday is always for the parishioners). But the parishes where I attend Mass while on holidays often list 5 & 6 intentions for every Mass. They’re very large parishes in comparison to mine.

In our parish the bishop has decreed that since the priest is paid a good salary (based on not paying for housing and a car) all the Mass stipends are to be deposited into general revenue after the masses have been celebrated.

We announce the intentions in the bulletin and on Saturday the name is included n the general intercessions. During the week Fr. will usually announce the intention at the start of Mass.

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