All Masses are dedicated to everyone (communion of saints). So why catholics ask the priest to offer Mass(es) to someone in particular?
Masses can be offered for the special intentions of someone, not TO… but FOR.
The Mass is the ultimate, most sublime prayer.
It’s beautiful to request that a beloved person be remembered in this most Holy Sacrifice.
God bless you.
The Mass is the eternal prayer - it is the universal prayer of the Church. The primary intention, of course, is for the community of believers gathered as they re-enter into Jesus’s eternal sacrifice. However, offering a Mass for a person who is suffering in Purgatory combines that person’s suffering directly to the suffering of Jesus Christ. It is the most perfect way to gain indulgences for those in Purgatory, and one Mass said for a person does more than all other indulgent prayers combined. Sure, it is possible to gain plenary indulgences through other methods, however, the requirement for plenary indulgences requires not only the prayers themselves, but also the celebration of confession within a week’s time (before or after), reception of Communion, and, most importantly, complete and total detachment from all sinfulness. It is this last requirement that is the most difficult. As we can never be totally and completely sure that we are completely detached from even venial sins, plenary indulgences are never ensured. As such, we continue to pray as much as we can for those who are suffering in Purgatory, especially those we love (when Masses for “all the souls in Purgatory” are offered, it is especially for those who no longer have anyone to pray for them). The best way to do this is through offering a Mass.
Canon law has:Can. 945 §1. In accord with the approved practice of the Church, any priest celebrating or concelebrating is permitted to receive an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention.
§2. It is recommended earnestly to priests that they celebrate Mass for the intention of the Christian faithful, especially the needy, even if they have not received an offering.
Can. 946 The Christian faithful who give an offering to apply the Mass for their intention contribute to the good of the Church and by that offering share its concern to support its ministers and works.
Can. 947 Any appearance of trafficking or trading is to be excluded entirely from the offering for Masses.
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.
Can. 949 A person obliged to celebrate and apply Mass for the intention of those who gave an offering is bound by the obligation even if the offerings received have been lost through no fault of his own.