Masses celebrated in memory – updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I was just reading and catching up on emails and I saw the email regarding the $10,000 donation for masses said in memory of the deceased mentioned. 

As a former business manager, I would always cringe when Father would come into my office with a large donation totally restricted to Mass offerings – but I understand the wishes of the deceased, who wouldn’t want prayers for their soul!

As an auditor for my diocese, I can assure you that masses should be said to complete the entire sum of this donation. I know that each diocese has a different suggested offering for Masses, but the number of masses should be calculated by dividing the amount donated for those masses by the sum of the typical mass offering. 

For example, in my home diocese it is a $15 offering. That would mean a total of 667 masses would need to be recorded for this donation! What many parishes can do that find themselves with more masses than can be said in a reasonable period of time, is to transfer for those masses to another parish in their diocese that may not have enough mass intentions for their regular schedule of masses. Our Chancery facilitates that, or the parishes can engage each other directly in that transaction. 

The parish should engage the estate. If the parish explains how many masses this would be, and offers a certain number of masses outside of the norms I originally described, that would be acceptable as long as the estate agrees to it. (i.e. the Parish could recommend that they will say 10 masses a year for ten years). 

When it comes to transfering the masses to another parish either directly or through the chancery, care should be given to engage the estate as well, as sometimes the deceased wants the masses said at their home parish. The sheer number of masses may make that difficult, and the most important thing is just that the prayers are said for the repose of the soul. The estate would have to agree to shifting those masses to another parish as well. 

Depending on the activity of parish intentions and the handling of dual intentions can get tricky, but felt I would add to this thread, as I have learned so much from your blog and your emails. 


A: Thank you for this important contribution to the blog.