Perpetual enrollment meaning

My friend recently received a perpetual enrollment card for her recently deceased brother from a family friend; in the Benedictine Monks of Hingham MA. Does this mean that his name will be mentioned at every Mass until the end of time? I’m confused as to how this works.

Yes as long as his soul is in need of the Masses to get to Heaven. I have enrolled and am continuing to enroll ALL of my family and friends in Perpetual Mass enrollments Anonymously. They won’t ever know but I will. That way I KNOW that Masses are being said for them now and also when I’m gone. I have a LONG list I am working my way through and God-willing I’ll be able to get to everybody on that list. Oh and I made sure to enroll myself as well because I NEED as many Masses said for my soul as possible. Sometimes I can only afford 2 a month and sometimes 4 a month but I make sure and do at least some EACH and EVERY month and will do so until my list is completed.


What confuses me is this: are all of these names verbally mentioned in the Mass and LOTH? If so, how can they mention an increasing number of names? If not, how can they possible remember all of those names?

As far as I know they are written down in a book or a list kept and at Mass it is just announced that this Mass is offered for all of the people who are perpetually or temporarily enrolled in our Masses.


Ah, that makes more sense. Thank you

Why do they charge for this? How much do they charge?

Each group, organization is different prices. Where my niece is in a cloister their Masses are one amount, where I give here in Louisiana it is a set amount. I opted to NOT have them waste money sending me the mail able enrollment cards for the ones I do anonymously because I wouldn’t send them out anyway. Now I get these kinds of enrollments from places all over the country for Mass enrollments. Some are for a specified length of time and some are perpetual. I do the Perpetual ones for funerals when a person I know passes away instead of flowers. For the funerals I do send out the mail able ones to the family. I’d rather know that they are having Masses said for them. I even do it for NON Catholics that I know that pass away.


It is very nice that you do that. But it sounds like a racket…a real rainmaker for the Church. I guess it doesn’t bother me so much that they are charging people who are willing to pay. But who prays for those people and souls whose loved ones can’t afford to pay up?

I recently went to a local Catholic church and had a mass card sent to a Catholic family who had just lost a loved one (friend of mine). I asked if there was a charge, and they said no. Was I remiss in not making a donation? It didn’t even occur to me, since there really is no cost associated with mentioning someone’s name at a mass that is going to be said anyway. Yikes. I hope I didn’t breach ettiquette.

This link gives a GREAT explanation for why.

For our regularly weekly Masses our priest can only accept ONE stipend per day. That one person can have the Mass said for how ever many people or intentions they want but ONLY ONE person can have a Mass said each day giving the Priest one stipend. Now on the weekends it can be more than one person. Imagine if 20 people each gave $5.00 (our Church’s rate) for a Mass stipend each day. That’s $100.00 a day and possible $3000.00 a month that the Priest would get. And then there could even be MORE than 20 people requesting Masses each day. Some Churches have Mass stipends at $10.00 a Mass. When I volunteered at the Church office one of the things I did was write the names in the books for our 2 Churches to correspond with the Masses that were requested. What was tough was when there was already a Mass recorded on a day and a person came in requesting that same day for a loved one’s birthday or anniversary or some special reason. We either had to call the first person and asked if their day could be changed or ask the 2nd person if we could put their Mass on a day that wasn’t already spoken for.

you answered a question I had. I wondered about prayers for my dad who was Baptist. I’ll have to do this. Can non-Catholics be the Mass Intention at my local parish?

They would have told you if a donation needed to be made. They may have an extra fund for when that happens or they just told Father to please say the Mass for your friend. I don’t know how they specifically worked that out. We can all offer Mass when we attend for anybody but it’s just like the link I shared said $$ is offered for the up keep of the Church and BELIEVE ME each and every stipend has to be accounted for and all of that sent in to the Diocese on a regular basis. Nobody pockets that money without the Diocese knowing.

Thank you so much for the informative link and the post. You gave me clarity on this issue.

All I can say is “wow”. It doesn’t sit at all favorably with me, the “system” that is. I still am concerned about the poor who are related to poor. Who pays on their behalf? Also, it just all seems silly to me. God hears all prayers, right?

In any event, @CajunJoy65, I really do appreciate the time you took to bring me up to speed on this. Thank you!

Also at the beginning of each month a Pro Populo Mass is required & offered for the members of the Priest’s Parish and a stipend is NOT accepted for this Mass. NO OTHER names can be accepted for a Pro Populo Mass only the entire Parish and its members are remembered in that particular Mass. It is written in the Mass books so NO mistake is made and any names written down for that day. When our priest leaves and goes for his medical rests or any type of time away he DOES offer his own personal daily Mass for any intentions listed in the bulletin for those days. Even though he is not in the Parish he tells us that our intentions will be offered for at daily Masses he personally says on his own, wherever he goes.

I have done so for non Catholics.


Mass to any Catholic is very serious and special. To have a Mass said for someone living or deceased is a very thoughtful kind thing to do. We ALL can benefit from Masses being said for our souls no matter who we are.

Just recently I had a good friend’s mother in law pass away. This friend was born and raised Catholic but now goes to the Assembly of God Church. When I sent her the funeral card for the Mass I told her I know her Mother in law wasn’t Catholic but that is what I do. She was very touched and very appreciative that I had done that. She said it meant a lot to her. If I don’t know the address of a family member of someone who has died or they live far away I just don’t send the card but I still have a Mass offered for them. That is what’s important.
Also I have Masses said for many PRIESTS and Religious Brothers and Sisters I know. They need the Masses as well.

ONE question I need to ask the place where I do the perpetual enrollments is if I am having a Mass said for a whole religious Community or for all Priests can I do that or does it have to be on an individual basis. I will need to do that soon.


We’ve been over this before on the forum.

The Church does not “charge for Masses”. However, if you are requesting that a Mass be said, you generally are asked for a suggested donation (sometimes called a “stipend”). it’s generally pretty low IMHO, like between 10 and 30 dollars per Mass depending on where you’re requesting.

The stipend is intended for the support of the priest saying the Mass. A priest can say a Mass for multiple intentions but can only keep one stipend per Mass.

The donation is voluntary. The Church does not refuse to say a Mass for a poor person who has no money to pay. (So in your case, they said the Mass anyway even though you didn’t give the donation.) However, I myself have money to cover the stipend for the Masses I request and I feel it’s my duty to the Church to provide the donation if I am requesting that a priest say a Mass. I’m sorry if you think it’s a “racket”, but I basically see it as a charitable donation and I do not mind giving any parish where I worship, or any monastery or mission that’s willing to say a Mass for me or a loved one or a deceased person I know, a donation, just like I didn’t mind giving the priest and deacon a donation when they did services at my husband’s funeral, and I don’t mind contributing to church building funds, etc. Furthermore, since like I said I have the money, I feel that my donation enables them to keep going and maybe say those Masses requested by the person who has no money for a donation or decides they just don’t want to give one. So maybe I even choose to give more than is asked in support of my Church.

if somebody has such a hangup about the Church that they dismiss a voluntary donation as a money-making racket then they just have a problem, period, in my book.

Catholic missions and religious orders rely a lot on the Mass stipends to support themselves and their work. My 20 dollar stipend probably goes a long way to buy food and shelter in a place like India, so I often request the Masses from CNEWA. I also have a few religious orders that I particularly like to support in this way.

So no, it’s not a “racket” and it’s kind of insulting that term to be used IMHO. No one is breaking my arm to give them that money. The contribution is also tax-deductible. And you yourself had a Mass said without you needing to donate any money.


I completely agree. I have requested Gregorian Masses for my spouse, each of my parents and parents-in-law, and several other friends who died who were either very close to me or died in some kind of bad circumstances. I want to feel like I have done all I can do for their souls. I am okay with contributing to the Church and missions anyway so why not do the donation in the context of arranging for the Masses in order to maximize the benefit.

For people who are not so close to me, I can just have a single Mass said or do an enrollment. I just enrolled a person yesterday (without saying anything about it) in the Redemptorist perpetual enrollment. The person was a distant acquaintance of mine but a good friend to a number of people I know better. He passed away over Easter weekend. He had a substance abuse problem and his family decided that any services would be private so there was no wake or funeral, which made a lot of his friends unhappy as they didn’t have a chance to say Goodbye. Having Masses said for his soul, anonymously, is a way to say Goodbye without going against the family’s wishes or causing any upset and it may help him to get to Heaven. Why wouldn’t a good Catholic do this?


Thanks for the additional information. I truly didn’t mean to offend. I was looking for an explanation as to how and why it worked the way it does.

To me, it just seems distasteful to assign a fixed dollar amount to the service of praying for someone. I understand it is a donation, but it really isn’t presented as an optional donation. I have done some further checking and other churches in the area hold steady to what they charge and they don’t waiver from it. For the Church who did mine for free, it may have been because I also provided a check directly to them for their funeral ministry support shortly after I attended my friend’s funeral there. I am not sure.

I don’t have issue with anyone making a donation to the church of their choice. That is a great thing to do, and necessary, if churches and their ministries are going to continue to exist. It is just the linking of it to specific prayer for specific individuals that I see as problematic.

More often than not, the people reserving masses at my parish tend to be very devout people with fixed incomes or limited means. The sacrifices they make are extremely important to them. I am pretty sure that God recognizes their sacrifices and piety. I believe that these are the prayers he listens closest to.

Knowing our parish priest, I am sure that money goes straight into the church. He is a prayerful man, and I am sure he is remembering them in his daily prayer.

I say an extra prayer for the people the mass is reserved for. If it is reserved by someone I am close with or someone who has limited means, I always give them extra prayer.

Instead of focusing on the cost, perhaps you could focus on praying for the people who reserve masses that live on limited or fixed incomes. It may be a good way to see the good in something that is leaving a sour taste in your mouth.

Your extra prayer may be the one that makes the difference. Remember it was so important to the people that they are making a sacrifice to honor their intention.


No, the organization can not “sell” masses.
If you can’t pay they will remember your loved ones just the same.
The offering is a courtesy.
It’s not a money making racket

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