Why do Catholics have Mass Intentions? We believe that God’s mercy extends beyond this present life, and that our weaknesses and imperfections can be healed by divine compassion in ways that remain a mystery to us. Mass intentions refer to the priest who is presiding at that Liturgy. It means that someone has requested that he offer that Mass for a specific intention.
Following a long tradition, Catholics often have Masses said for various intentions. Mass is the strongest prayer we have and to ask the priest to offer Mass for a specific intention is a powerful form of intercession, either for ourselves or for a loved one. Sometimes people have Mass said when someone is sick or when they are about to undergo surgery. Masses are often offered on the occasion of birthdays and anniversaries. Perhaps the most common is Masses for the deceased. To have Masses prayed for the deceased is an expression of our love for those persons and our hope that God will forgive their sins and welcome them to God’s eternal embrace. Most mortuaries provide Mass cards at the Vigil or even before the Funeral Liturgy. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, it is a Catholic tradition to have Masses offered. While it is nice to be present when these Masses are offered, it is not necessary. Please don’t feel bound to being present at the Mass.
Mass intentions are announced before the Masses begin so that others may join their prayers to that intention as well. The priest, however, is the only one who has committed himself to offer that intention Other participants are always free to offer the Mass for whatever intention they wish.
We are currently running out of intentions for Masses in our parish. This means that, in the future, you may see in the bulletin next to a daily Mass: “Unassigned.” This simply means that there is no designated intention for that Mass. Here at St. Thomas More, Alysia Baumann takes care of this ministry. Call her or stop by the office at your convenience to request a Mass Intention. Mass intentions can also be requested via online giving on our website. The suggested donation is $10, but you are, of course, not required to donate anything. These donations go to the priest who offers the Mass, and it contributes to his support.
~ Fr. Frank Coady