Sunday Masses Not Offered for Special Intentions?

At our parish the previous administrator (priest) stopped offering Sunday masses for special intentions. I was told when I requested that Sunday masses at my own church be said for a recently deceased relative (who by the way left a generous amount of money to the church for masses at our specific church) that Sunday is the Lord’s day and as such, Sunday masses are not to be offered for any other intention.

I am in my sixth decade of living as a practicing Catholic and have always been able to have Sunday masses offered for special intentions. This roadblock sounds just ridiculous to me and is just another reason why people get so fed up with the Church sometimes.

The only masses being said for special intentions is 20 miles away and only at 7 a.m. on weekdays. At our mission church we only have a Saturday evening and a 7a.m. Sunday mass and no weekday masses. I am not going to attend a 7a.m. weekday masses 20 miles away when we have our own church walking distance from my home on weekends particularly when we left so much money to this particular church for masses.

I don’t know where these young priests come up with these silly notions and then make changes that have such a negative impact on the congregation. :mad:

I believe that for at least one Sunday Mass, the intention should be for the people of the parish. If there are additional Masses then other intentions can be included. I believe a pastor must be granted special permission to allow Masses to be offered for more than one intention.

I believe the problem is that you seem to only have one Sunday Mass.

AFAIK, the pastor has to celebrate one Mass for his flock, so in our parish, the Sunday morning Mass is for the intention of the parishioners.

It’s been said above, but I thought I’d just point out the reference from the Code of Canon Law

Canon 534 §1. After a pastor has taken possession of his parish, he is obliged to apply a Mass for the people entrusted to him on each Sunday and holy day of obligation in his diocese. If he is legitimately impeded from this celebration, however, he is to apply it on the same days through another or on other days himself.

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P1U.HTM

The same applies to administrators:

Can. 540 §1. A parochial administrator is bound by the same duties and possesses the same rights as a pastor unless the diocesan bishop establishes otherwise.

Most of our Sunday masses have special intentions - we have ten masses each Sunday. Some years back one of our parochial vicars was promoted to pastor of another parish. Our joke was that he did it for the money. Pastors get $40 a month more; [however they lose the $10 stipend for Sunday mass intentions]. :smiley:

The intention for any individual Mass is a decison made by the priest celebrating that Mass.

If he did say that “Sunday masses are not to be offered for any other intention,” this is not at all true–not at all. A Sunday Mass can certainly be offered for any person living or deceased. The priest can decide for himself that all Sunday Masses are offered pro populum, but that’s his personal choice–not a requirement.

There is more to this than that (including c 534 quoted above), such as the handling of Mass stipends, honoring donations given for a specific reason, etc. etc., but there is no law which either requires or forbids particular intentions at a parish Sunday Mass.

But isn’t the issue here the number of Sunday Masses? (In this case I guess there are two.) One of the Masses must be offered for the people of the parish, correct? Unless Canon 543 strictly defines “Sunday” as midnight to midnight then I guess Sunday would be available for other intentions if the Saturday evening anticipated Mass is offered for the parish.

Not necessarily. The pastor is obligated to have one Mass pro populum on a Sunday, however he can move that to a weekday for a just cause (c. 534 “or on other days himself”). The fact that two families requested the same particular day would be a just cause for having the pro populum Mass on another day.

Now you have me questioning something. Do you have to be at the Mass that you requested? I only ask because sometimes I request a Mass at the home Church of the “intendee” ? Like if I want a Mass for the health of my Mom. I would request that Mass at her church, not mine

No, of course you don’t have to be present. If you did it would present a grave problem since often parishes that get too many requests for Masses send the intentions and the stipends to missionaries who have no other source of funds.

These are not silly notions, they are compatible with Church teaching. Sorry. What exactly do you consider “silly” about the Catholic Sunday liturgy that the Church celebrates?

No, I don’t “need” to be at the church where the masses are being offered but of course I would like to be. Besides, my church is also my uncle’s church, the church he left a sizeable amount of money to in his will and the same church he helped build and where he wanted the masses said.

It’s more annoying than amazing to me that you would spin what I said. Nowhere did I say that the Catholic Sunday liturgy that the Church celebrates is silly. grrrrrrrrr:mad: Go back and read what I said and please don’t twist things around. I don’t appreciate that one bit!

Of course, you would like to be there. I just know that I have Masses offered for people, and the church is in another state.

But I don’t think that your Uncle leaving money to the church should enter into it. He didn’t leave money to the church so they would do what you want them to do. Or at least I hope he didn’t. That may sound mean, but if they are not offering Masses for anyone, then they shouldn’t have to change for someone simply because someone left them money. THAT would cause people to question Church teaching.

Sorry. I did not mean to twist things. I apologize.

That reminds me of an old joke: A man approached the Pastor and requested a Mass for his dog. The Pastor said that he can’t offer a Mass for a dog. “Did I mention”, said the man, “that I was going to donate a million dollars to the church?” “OH”, said the Pastor, “Why didn’t you say your dog was Catholic?”

Please, don’t misunderstand. I don’t feel that my uncle should receive any special benefits or that practices in our parish should be changed for him because he left one specific church money. That is not my point and it seems that I am having trouble making myself clear.

We come from a very small community. The men in our community, my father, uncles, grandfathers, literally built our church with their own hands back in the late 1950’s. This church and the people who have worshiped here for decades,have supported it in many ways for an entire lifetime (my uncle died at 93years of age, my grandmother at 97). They, we, have given not only monetarily to this church, but we have given our time in service in many ways for many, many years.

Up until a few months ago, Sunday masses were always offered for requested intentions. Then along comes a new priest who stops this tradition. That’s what I have a problem with along with the fact that our little community would like to be in attendance (and it was my uncle’s wish as well) when masses are said for his soul. I asked the new administrator why this was stopped and he agreed to bring up the subject at the next meeting of the parish council. He’s sweet and said that he does not want to make big changes as he’s new. It wouldn’t be a big change, it would actually be going back to an old tradition.

The fact that my uncle left a generous donation to this specific church along with the request that some of the money be used for masses to be said in this church in his community is just one more reason why I hope that we will be able to get this time honored tradition back. My uncle was in a nursing home for the past several years and was unaware that this change had taken place several months ago. He still would have left the church money but he would be very disappointed and confused to know that his masses would be attended outside of his close-knit community by stangers. I know of course that the value of a mass offered elsewhere is not changed, I just feel badly that after almost a hundred years of having masses said in our church for members of our community this was taken from us. We have already lost so much in this town.

Apology accepted. I’m sorry that I got so angry.

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