Mass intentions

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I have another question regarding Mass intentions. Can a Mass be offered for a cause or issue? For instance, we have someone who would like to offer masses “for the end of abortion.” Are Mass intentions limited only to the living and dead?

My guess is that those are concerns that would fit more appropriately in the prayer of the faithful—yes?


A: You probably need a canonist to answer this because the few rules we have on intentions come from the Code of Canon Law. Especially pertinent is 945, which says that the priest “may accept an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention.”

But it doesn’t give any restrictions on that intention.

In the second section of the same canon, it says that if the priest does not receive an offering, he still celebrates Mass “for the intentions of Christ’s faithful, especially of those in need.”

Those in need may be praying for any number of improvements. It’s probably best that the law left this vague.

I defer to a canonist to shed more light on this, but it seems to me that someone could make an offering to be applied to a Mass for a cause or issue.