Two collections every Sunday?


I have just started RCIA and have just started attending mass on Sunday although I have gone to mass with my granddaughter at her school on weekdays. Why are two offerings taken up on Sunday but only one is taken up at the school mass? What are the two for? I did notice that the 2nd one had offering envelopes in the basket while the first time seemed to just be cash.
Thank you!


Last week was Military Services Collection. This week Catholic Relief Services more specifically relief for Typhon victims in the Philippines. Multiple collections is not the norm where I attend mass.


Second collections may seem like they’re taken up every week, but they’re not quite that frequent.

One collection is for support of the parish.

The second collection is for a special purpose and they usually announce what the purpose is. I was just looking at the LA Archdiocese list of approved second collections. They include the Retirement fund for Archdiocesan Priests, Retirement Fund for Religious, Peter’s Pence (for the Holy Father), and World Mission Sunday. My parish takes up a monthly second collection for the Sanctuary Fund (flowers, candles, etc.). We usually have a missionary come once a year and make an appeal. It would not surprise me in the least if they took up a special collection tomorrow for the people in the Philippines.

The second collection is for a more limited purpose and supports whatever that special purpose is.


My parish had two collections today - regular and for the Phillipines.


We have 2 collections every Sunday just prior to offertory.

My understanding is that the first is like general revenue for the parish.

The second is towards support of priests, there are also special envelopes that can be placed there when people wish to have a mass said for someone who may be ill, those who have departed, etc. Their names will usually appear in an upcoming newsletter or their name will be read out during an upcoming mass.

At the end of mass we usually have a leaving collection for something such as relief for victims of natural disasters, St Vincent de Paul etc.


You should read your parish bulletin to find out what the second collection is for. While second collections are often very worthy causes, you need not feel obligated to donate to every second collection especially if you feel that you are doing the best that you can to contribute to the support of the church and other charities. In addition to the collection for the Archdiocese of the Military and for victims of natural disaster in the Philipines, every year around this time parishioners are being asked to prayerfully make a pledge of how much they will contribute weekly/monthly for the following year.

Also, parishes differ on how they do things and what additional collections they encourage. Our current pastor very rarely allows a second collection to be taken up. Donations for special causes are mentioned but if people want to contribute to the special causes in addition to their weekly or monthly giving, they need to put the donations for special causes in a clearly marked envelope along with the one collection. Special envelopes are provided in the pews. Any loose collection that is not marked goes to the parish.


When I was growing up (Archdiocese of Los Angeles) it seemed that a second collection was the norm. (The second one was after Communion.) But that was a long time ago; I think that sort of thing ended in the 1970s.

My current parish doesn’t do a second collection. If there is going to be a collection for something special the parish generally makes envelopes available the week ahead of time, before Mass, or in the narthex.

People who want to contribute to special causes figure out how to get their money to the right place.


It’s the discretion of the each individual parish whether of not to take up a second collection. Some churches just take one for the general use of maintaining the functions of the parish while others have that one and a second for special needs. For example, our parish always takes 2 collections. The first week of the month it is for the reduction of our Diocesan Services Appeal debt reduction, the second week is always given to the diocese for their special services (each month it’s a different cause), the third week goes to the homeless ministry of our church or to the Catholic school subsidy, the forth week goes to the maintenance of our parish facilities and the fifth week (4 times a year) benefits our St. Vincent de Paul Society and their good deeds. This weekend the second collection will not be used for the homeless ministry our our parish, but be given to the diocese to distribute to the victims of the Philippines. We have 2 envelopes each Sunday: one for the regular collection and one for the specials as mentioned above.


Contribution is not mandatory.


I can’t imagine why there would be two collections every Sunday. Our parish almost never has a second collection.


The thought process is that the parish will get more donations. However, parishioners are smarter than that! They simply split the total donation they plan on giving for the most part IMO.


I don’t think so. I think a lot of pastors dread second collections. I know our pastor agrees with you that some will either split their total donation or else give only to the charity. But I don’t think he would agree that those parishioners “are smarter”. Anyway, I believe this is the reason that we only have one collection and that donations going to special collections or causes must be in a specially marked envelope.


You are actually agreeing with me. If your pastor agrees that the people will split their donation, then they are “smarter” meaning that if they give $20 a week, they will not give $10 more to the second collection, but split the $20. That is what I was saying. My pastor loves the second collection and he has created one for each weekend (see my previous post a couple of days ago for the breakdown) and most of them are for special needs of our own parish. Only one per month goes to the diocese for their monthly collection. He believes he will receive more revenue by doing so. I wonder.


I thought I was the only one that had to do that! :slight_smile:


Ours keeps them to a minimum. A lot of times, when there’s supposed to be one, he’ll just take a donation from the normal collection. There are some of the big ones that we have regularly, like for our CCD program; and annually, like the ones for Peter’s Pence and the retired religious. And then there are special ones, like this weekend for the typhoon victims in the Phillipines.

But not only do we not have one every week, I don’t think we even have one every month, although we probably do for most months.


My parish has two collections every Sunday. The first goes to maintaining the parish (paying parish employees [laypersons; the clergy are paid by the archdiocese], electricity, diverse repairs, etc.) The second could be for anything. Some are mandated by the archdiocese; these appear in the Ordo and are only collected once per year (retired priests, education of seminarians, Peter’s Pence, maintenance of the cathedral, CCD, and so forth). Sometimes we have collections in response to unexpected events, such as the flooding of the shrine in Lourdes. Other times a collection is taken to cover the costs of the Masses (candles, altar breads, wine…) or to pay the heating bill for the parish churches. For some reason, these expenses are not accounted for in the budget that the first collection is expected to cover.

In any event, while I have no doubt some parishes have two collections in an attempt to receive more revenue for the parish itself, I don’t think it would be fair to suggest this is the case for all parishes. Though I am not directly involved in parish finances, I’m close enough to it to know that each second collection here goes where they say it will go, and the majority of the time that is outside the parish. How the parishioners choose to contribute is their decision to make, and the reasons for their choices are no one’s business but their own.


Please understand that no one was suggesting that this is the case for all parishes, but since you bring it up, I really believe it is. The parishes that take up one collection, the people are used to it and will give the full amount that they plan on giving on any given weekend. The people have budgets and are used to only one collection. If they have 2 envelopes and thus 2 collection, the budget doesn’t change, so they will split the money they have to give. Also, our second collection goes to where it is supposed to go also. Furthermore, no one is questioning “How the parishioners choose to contribute is their decision to make, and the reasons for their choices are no one’s business but their own.” ???


Here is a great homily that our pastor gave this weekend. He works the theology of almsgiving into his homily.


I didn’t say anyone here was questioning any of those things. All I did was explain how things are in my own parish.

I see the proceeds of all collections firsthand because I’m the one who secures them after the collections are completed. Perhaps because we always have two and the parishioners are used to it, the amount in the first collection is fairly constant while what ends up in the second depends upon what it’s for—some causes attract more contributions than others, and different causes speak to each person in different ways. But while I of course cannot speak for the individual parishioner, from what I have seen of the behavior of parishioners as a whole I have not observed the sort of splitting you speak of.

Unless I am misunderstanding you (and I apologize sincerely if I am), you believe adding a second collection to increase revenue is the case for all parishes. I cannot speak for all parishes, only my own, and I can tell you it is not the case here. That you and I seem to have differing opinions on this only illustrates that the motivation behind the second collection is not the same everywhere. :slight_smile:


A second collection could be a good idea, depending on how it is implemented. The parish that I sang in last weekend, had 2 collections, and the second one was for the heat and lighting costs. But this is a good way for parishioners to direct their money the way they want it to go. (Like capital campaigns). Take my mother, who is very upset that her parish is paying 4 or 5 youth ministers/directors, despite class sizes that are smaller then ever. So this way, would be a good way for a person who is not so happy about some ways the parish is spending its money while still keeping their donations up for things, like heat, lights, ac, or liturgical items (candles, incense, etc.).

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