It is a time honored Catholic tradition to have Masses said for a particular person and to provide Mass Cards to comfort relatives, friends and loved ones. We do this because our Catholic faith is centered on Mass and the Eucharist is where we come together for healing, forgiveness, and renewal in Christ. Very often the family members will make it a point to attend the liturgy for their loved one.
From the very beginnings of the Church, it was customary for the faithful to donate the bread and wine to be used in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. In time, offerings of money were substituted for the actual bread and wine. Money given in excess of what was necessary for the procuring of the bread and wine was used to assist the poor and, eventually, to support the clergy. Thus, it became customary for the priest to accept a “stipend” from the faithful in return for remembering a specific intention in the celebration of a Mass.
All Mass Intentions are voluntary offerings, since the Holy Eucharist is the universal prayer of all the church. The typical offering is ten dollars. The Code of Canon Law notes that the petitioner also benefits: “Christ’s faithful who make an offering so that Mass can be celebrated for their intention contribute to the good of the Church, and by that offering they share in the Church’s concern for the support of its ministers and its activities” (Canon 946).