Q: We are working to firm up some guidelines for Mass Intentions here at the parish. Our current policy is that Masses can only be requested for deceased persons. Recently a parishioner requested to have Masses said for living members of her family. What is the church’s official guidance on this?
Second, I have attended churches that list more than one intention for a Mass. My understanding is that canonically a parish can only have one intention per Mass. Is that correct?
Are there further considerations that we should include in our guidelines?
A: This is a canonical question, so you may need to reach out to the canon lawyers of your diocese. But it is quite common to offer Mass intentions for the living, not only the dead.
Here are a couple of previous blog posts: https://paulturner.org/mass-intentions-5/
The internal link no longer works, but a list of bulletin inserts is here: https://paulturner.org/ministry-liturgy/
Here’s the decree on Mass stipends: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/decree-on-mass-stipends-2023