The Problem with Back-Logging Mass Intentions


#1

I made a realization today about a problem with many Mass Intention booking systems. Many parishes book Mass intentions well in advance and will fill up the book for each year with intentions for what seems like every single birthday and anniversary. What ends up happening is there is no room for Mass intentions which can’t be planned or booked in advance (ie: short notice major surgeries, medical things, etc.) This is an issue that really should be rectified somehow. For example, perhaps non-milestone birthdays and anniversaries can be sent off to missionary or monastery priests to be offered.


#2

Most of my parish's Mass intentions are made for those who have died. I have rarely, or if at all, have seen intentions for birthdays, anniversaries, or surgeries. Not that those aren't possible Mass intentions (I'm from a fairly small parish). But I do agree, Mass intentions at my parish and the surrounding parishes are booked solid throughout the year. The problem is that there are people who have asked for Mass intentions for their deceased loved ones and they have not had any masses said yet. My grandma's sister died over a year ago and there still hasn't been one mass said for her despite my grandma "booking" it shortly after her sister's death.

I am sure there's a remedy to this problem, but I'm not sure how it could be rectified to satisfy all members of each congregation. I also do not know what the Church has to say about Mass intentions. Is there a certain regulation to how Mass intentions are done?


#3

[quote="findingmyself08, post:2, topic:293623"]
Most of my parish's Mass intentions are made for those who have died. I have rarely, or if at all, have seen intentions for birthdays, anniversaries, or surgeries. Not that those aren't possible Mass intentions (I'm from a fairly small parish). But I do agree, Mass intentions at my parish and the surrounding parishes are booked solid throughout the year. The problem is that there are people who have asked for Mass intentions for their deceased loved ones and they have not had any masses said yet. My grandma's sister died over a year ago and there still hasn't been one mass said for her despite my grandma "booking" it shortly after her sister's death.

I am sure there's a remedy to this problem, but I'm not sure how it could be rectified to satisfy all members of each congregation. I also do not know what the Church has to say about Mass intentions. Is there a certain regulation to how Mass intentions are done?

[/quote]

Mass intentions for the deceased generally do not affect intentions for the living because there are two separate parts for each.


#4

Our Mass intention book is filled for this year except for a few early morning weekday masses. 2013 is filling up fast for Sundays. The big problem is that people come in wanting 20 or 30 Masses for the year and the slots fill up. I know parishes where people line up the minute it is announced that the Mass book is open for the next year. Some parishes have dealt with this by giving a person only one mass a month for the year, but they get around it by having someone else come in for more masses.

We do have non-announced masses that do get sent to the retired priests and to mission priests or for when our priests say mass in the rectory chapel. We have even had to offer shared mass once a week where 5 names are offered at one mass (with permission of the bishop).


#5

If you need a Mass intention quickly, and you don't care where it's said, try a smaller parish - they tend not to book up so quickly.

One thing that I see, which I won't say is a problem, because I actually think it's very touching and nice, is that any time we have a funeral, especially someone who was well known to the parish, lots of people book Mass intentions for the person, so they tend to book up quickly for that reason, as well.


#6

I guess there are exceptions. I was the hospital two weeks ago for 6 days. I had contacted my Priest the Thursday I was admitted. He came to see me Sunday morning b/f his 1st Mass. He sent a message to me b/f coming that he was saying a Mass for me that day. About 30 mins after he left he called to tell me that he had arranged for 5 Masses to be said for me that day. He must have been very concerned about me after he saw me to do this. There are 3 Masses on Sunday between his two parishes. I'm not sure where the other two were said. All I know is that my condition started to turn around after he left me.


#7

[quote="jmcrae, post:5, topic:293623"]
If you need a Mass intention quickly, and you don't care where it's said, try a smaller parish - they tend not to book up so quickly.

[/quote]

I was fortunate enough to get my priest to offer one on short notice (less than 2 hours), but I think we're the exception to the rule. I was just making a general observation. I'm sure if I would have actually gone through the parish I would not have been able to one said. I was amazed I was actually successful, though.


#8

It's up to the pastor. Ours will often rearrange the intentions when there is an emergency. He did that when one of my relatives was dying and has done the same for others I know. Our "book" is not carved in stone.


#9

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:3, topic:293623"]
Mass intentions for the deceased generally do not affect intentions for the living because there are two separate parts for each.

[/quote]

Yeah, I think we're talking about different parts of the Mass. :o


#10

I live in a large urban area, and the trick is to know which parishes usually have openings, and which don't :D At my own parish, they limit the number of mass intentions an individual can request, and I was able to get masses for my family a couple months after I went to the parish office.

But there's a parish just a couple miles up the road at which one can get masses said in the coming weeks.

Sadly, there are a few parishes around here that don't really bring up the possibility of mass intentions, so people have not gotten into the habit of requesting them. Those are the parishes that my friends and I turn to when we want a mass said for loved ones.

God bless you for wanting to have masses said for your loved ones :thumbsup: And don't forget that you can always offer your participation in the Holy Mass and your reception of Holy Communion for whomever you wish.

Gertie


#11

Just reduce the amount of intentions said at each Mass to leave room for somebody to add one in on short notice. Don't add it if it isn't an emergency, so "I just remembered now that it's Nancy and Bob's anniversary, could you add this to the intentions for Mass tomorrow?" is a no-go.


#12

I don’t think the OP was referring to the Prayers of the Faithful which follow the gospel/homily, and is when we are led in a variety of prayers that end with “let us pray to the Lord”.

Rather, I think the OP was referring to going to the parish office and requesting a particular mass be offered for a particular intention, most often (in my parish anyway) for a deceased person.

Could be wrong, though.

Gertie


#13

[quote="Gertabelle, post:12, topic:293623"]
I don't think the OP was referring to the Prayers of the Faithful which follow the gospel/homily, and is when we are led in a variety of prayers that end with "let us pray to the Lord".

Rather, I think the OP was referring to going to the parish office and requesting a particular mass be offered for a particular intention, most often (in my parish anyway) for a deceased person.

Could be wrong, though.

Gertie

[/quote]

Oh okay, I definitely read that one too fast. :o

In that case, why not have a day each week where the Mass is "open" and available to be scheduled for anyone with an emergency?


#14

My parish has only had 4 scheduled Masses per week for the last year. More often than not, Masses were cancelled at the last minute so the 4 scheduled became 1 celebrated.

Canon law says that a priest cannot accept more intentions than he can celebrate in one year.

Can. 953 No one is permitted to accept more offerings for Masses to be applied by himself than he can satisfy within a year.

I don't know how that translates to how many the parish can accept because in parishes such as ours it's not always the same priest who celebrates these Masses.

What I remember from my youth is that, at least once a year, Mass stipends would be forwarded to the Missions to be celebrated and a list of Mass intentions that had been transferred would be posted at the back of the church for all to see. My present parish has been the recipient of such transferred Masses at the request of the pastor when our parish's Mass book was empty.

With us it's feast or famine. Few people make a habit of requesting Masses. In fact, unless things have drastically changed since I left the office 18 months ago, only 4 people make a point of requesting Masses on a regular basis. So, unless someone popular dies, there is usually lots of space for a last-minute request, although without a secretary that has become more difficult since, instead of weekly, Mass intentions are announced a month in advance.

While the average person is lucky to get 2 or 3 Masses offered for the repose of their souls, more popular people get 50 or more. Unless a specific date is requested or we are low on requested Mass intentions, we usually schedule only one Mass per person per week. That means that in a year where we have the death of a couple of well-known and loved parishioners, if you're one of 50+ people requesting a Mass for the same person, you're unlikely to see it celebrated until a year or more after you request it.

Now that we have a Pastor again (he arrived yesterday) we will probably have more Masses each week.


#15

In my parish there is regularly scheduled a Monthly Mind Mass where all members of the parish community who passed away in the previous month are remembered by name.

In cases of emergency, there is usually a short announcement explaining the "added" intention (best wording I can come up with at the moment) at the beginning of Mass.

There is also a scheduled monthly mass intention explicit for the parishoners and their needs


#16

[quote="coachdennis, post:15, topic:293623"]
There is also a scheduled monthly mass intention explicit for the parishoners and their needs

[/quote]

Only one? The Pastor is supposed to celebrate a Mass for the intention of the parishioners every Sunday and HDO. As a result, our Sunday morning Mass (often the only Mass celebrated that week) is always for the Parishioners.


#17

I was referring to a published intention in the bulletin.


#18

[quote="coachdennis, post:17, topic:293623"]
I was referring to a published intention in the bulletin.

[/quote]

So was Phemie.


#19

[quote="coachdennis, post:17, topic:293623"]
I was referring to a published intention in the bulletin.

[/quote]

We don't accept any intention for Sunday morning Mass and the priest receives no stipend for that Mass. It's always announced in the bulletin as "For the Parishioners"

Same thing for one Christmas Mass and one New Year's Mass (Mary, Mother of God) since those are the only HDOs in Canada.

Even when we had no Pastor and our Administrator was Pastor somewhere else, the bishop advised us to leave that Mass intention as it was.


#20

[quote="Phemie, post:16, topic:293623"]
Only one? The Pastor is supposed to celebrate a Mass for the intention of the parishioners every Sunday and HDO. As a result, our Sunday morning Mass (often the only Mass celebrated that week) is always for the Parishioners.

[/quote]

Yes, this is outlined in Canon Law. If there is more than one Sunday Mass, other intentions can be taken, but at least one Mass (generally the principle Mass) must be celebrated "pro populo".


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