Corpus Christi Blog

Mass Intentions

05-07-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Chad King

You might be aware that our Mass Intention book is now completely full for 2017. This hasn't been a problem in the past, but this year we have simply "run out of Masses." First of all, it warms my heart because it shows your love for your loved ones and also your deep faith in the power of the Mass. However, I am sorry as I know many have not been able to have a Mass said for someone and particularly not on the day you would like to have it.

Some people have asked if we can have more than one intention for each Mass if needed. The answer is NO. The Code of Canon Law, in paragraph 948, says that there only can be only one intention for each priest; and because it is very rare that there is a concelebrating priest at a Mass, we only assign one intention. For your knowledge too, paying the usual "offering" of a $10.00 donation is only voluntary; there is no fee to have a Mass said for someone, and so we can't (nor should we) have preferences over those who gave any offering or not.

We know that people still want to have a priest say a Mass for a specific intention, and certainly God honors the thoughtfulness and effort (not to mention the donation amount) it takes to have it done. Therefore, to help make sure there is a better chance for people to have intentions as close to the date that they would prefer, we are issuing a five intention per year limit. Keep in mind, you can have one Mass said for all your deceased relatives at once. God knows and honors the faith and desire of your heart.

Now, here is where I want to help explain something. The one intention only applies to the intention of the priest. You personally, in your own heart, can pray that Mass for your own intention. It is a great practice to have your own "offering" for each Mass. Keep in mind that at Mass, sometimes the prayers that people write in and put in the baskets are brought up to the altar — God truly 'hears' those prayers and knows the heart of those who write them. Also, in every Mass, the priest receives the offerings of bread and wine (the gifts), that on Sundays are usually brought up by a family. This would be equivalent to what we read in the Old Testament of how a family would bring an animal — say a lamb as at Passover — to the priest to be sacrificed for their sins. It was more than just the family bringing a lamb (whether it was one that they had raised themselves or recently bought). The animal also represented the blood, sweat, and tears involved in providing the offering. Keep in mind, livestock were the livelihood for many of the people, therefore to offer an animal was truly a sacrifice and they were depending on God to provide for their livelihood. Now, because Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, has made himself the final and perfect sacrifice for the salvation of every person, we provide the other ingredients (the bread and wine) for the sacrificial meal (like at the Passover, the lamb was eaten with unleavened bread and wine). So I ask you, when you come to Mass, what is the blood, sweat, and tears you are offering? Do you have a heartfelt intention either for yourself or for another person? In every Mass, after the priest has received and offers the bread and wine, he says, "Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice, and yours, may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father." Do you have a sacrifice, a prayer, or intention in your heart that you are offering? God hears all the prayers of our hearts and to offer intentions, specifically at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is particularly efficacious!

That being said, we will soon also have Holy Hour intention cards available! With these cards, you can pray a Holy Hour for a specific person or purpose, and send a card stating the time and date that you prayed for that intention. A friend of mine in seminary would do that for people an I found it to be such an honor to receive the card and to know I was prayed for so intentionally.