2023 Mass Intentions
MASS INTENTIONS UPDATE
Now that we have given everyone in the parish the opportunity to schedule a Mass for their loved ones in 2023, we are accepting additional Mass Intention requests. We will accept three additional Masses on a first received basis. We are still in the process of scheduling the Masses on particular days, based on what we know to the be calendar to date. We regret that there are always changes that happen and we appreciate your understanding when Masses need to be rescheduled. Thank you.
Beginning the weekend of September 25, we are accepting requests for Mass Intentions for 2023. This will be done in a manner different than in past years here at Saint Michael. I am including some of the pertinent Canons to assist in explaining the how and why of this process. One of the challenges is the fact that the number of registered households (each of whom may desire a Mass intention) is far greater than the number of Masses which can be celebrated each year (the legal time frame to hold intentions). As illustrated below, the pastor of the parish is required by Canon Law to celebrate one Mass each Sunday for “The People of the Parish”. This leaves two Sunday Masses and four Weekday Masses available for intentions each week (the pastor is entitled to one day off). In fairness to everyone in the parish, all Holy Day Masses, including Christmas and Easter, are celebrated for the people of the parish, living or deceased. Additionally, out of fairness, Masses for Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day are celebrated for all our mothers and fathers, respectively. This leaves approximately 300 Masses available for intentions, with over 1600 registered households. From the very onset, less than 20% of all registered families will be able to schedule one Mass Intention. Admittedly, a large amount of those households will have no interest in a Mass Intention – but we need to be fair in the beginning. After a four-week period of allowing everyone an opportunity to schedule ONE MASS INTENTION, we will invite the opportunity for a second Mass Intention. I suggest that that if you have more than one family member you wish to offer Mass for, you consider an Intention such as “The deceased members of the Smith family, or “The deceased members of the Smith and Jones families”. The form will also ask for a suggested date. This is not a guarantee. We will do our best to accommodate such requests, but on a first received basis. You CANNOT come to the office or call on the phone to schedule a particular Mass. To schedule your first Mass Intention, please complete the form below and return it to the office via the offertory basket, the mail, or dropping it off in the office. The form must be completed and include the $10 stipend. I understand this is a change, perhaps rather unwelcomed by some. But this is the best way to adhere to the prescribed laws and be fair to everyone. An alternative for Mass Intentions could be sponsoring a songbook, thereby having people pray for your loved one every week at Mass.
Can. 534 §1. After a pastor has taken possession of his parish, he is obliged to apply a Mass for the people entrusted to him on each Sunday and holy day of obligation in his diocese. This is known as the Pro Populo Mass – For the People of the Parish. Given three Masses each weekend, this means only two Masses are available for individual intentions.
Can. 946 The Christian faithful who give an offering to apply the Mass for their intention contribute to the good of the Church and by that offering share its concern to support its ministers and works.
Can. 947 Any appearance of tracking or trading is to be excluded entirely from the offering for Masses. What this means is the appearance of celebrating more masses in a given day simply to receive the stipend is forbidden. By law, priests are permitted to celebrate one daily Mass and no more than three Sunday Masses (including the Saturday Vigil).
Can. 952 §1. It is for the provincial council or a meeting of the bishops of the province to define by decree for the entire province the offering to be given for the celebration and application of Mass, and a priest is not permitted to seek a larger sum. Nevertheless, he is permitted to accept for the application of a Mass a voluntary offering which is larger or even smaller than the one defined. §2. Where there is no such decree, the custom in force in the diocese is to be observed. The stipend for a Mass Intention in the Diocese of Youngstown is $10.00.
Can. 953 No one is permitted to accept more offerings for Masses to be applied by himself than he can satisfy within a year. Therefore, we cannot schedule Masses more than one year out. Here at Saint Michael, we are beginning the process in October, to be finally scheduled by December, recognizing that some Masses may remain available throughout the year for deaths that occur in the coming year.
Can. 954 If in certain churches or oratories more Masses are asked to be celebrated than can be celebrated there, it is permitted for them to be celebrated elsewhere unless the donors have expressly indicated a contrary intention. This is the past custom of “sending extra Mass Intentions” to religious communities or retired priests who do not have parish communities to offer intentions.
Can. 958 §1. The pastor and the rector of a church or other pious place which regularly receives offerings for Masses are to have a special book in which they note accurately the number of Masses to be celebrated, the intention, the offering given, and their celebration. This is all recorded in the Mass Intention Book in the parish office.
§2. The ordinary is obliged to examine these books each year either personally or through others. In the Diocese of Youngstown, an audit is done annually to determine that the appropriate stipends are attached to the corresponding number of Masses yet to be celebrated.
Please use the Mass Intention Request Form below make your request and return it to the parish office via the offertory basket, mail or at the office by October 30, 2022.