Mass intention

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I would like your opinion on the Mass intention.

It is my opinion that the Mass intention is the duty of the pastor. As such it should be in the pastor’s mind and intention while celebrating Mass. The Mass intentions need to be announced in such a manner that the faithful can know what the priest’s Mass intention is, and thus know when the Mass intentions they request (and favor with a stipend) are being celebrated. This is customarily accomplished in the parish bulletin.

The issue I hope you will address is including the Mass intention in the prayers of the faithful. The Mass intention belongs to the priest; it does not belong to the faithful. I do not believe that the Mass intention should be included in the intercessions. As you noted recently, the intercessions are the prayers of the faithful, and thus are not the prayer of the priest, but, of course, he joins in their supplication.


A: There’s no rule requiring them to be named aloud during the Mass. You’re right that the intention pertains to the priest, not the people. I generally do include the Mass intention in the universal prayer. Often the person who requested the intention is in attendance, and this gives them assurance that I am aware of the petition. Even if the person is not there, the intention is one clear example of a prayer “of the faithful” because someone has requested it for this Mass. We generally word it in an open way: “For John Smith, for whom we’ve been asked to pray at this Mass.” Mentioning the name at Mass is not required. I just find it a charitable thing to do.