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Jackie wrote:

Hi, guys —

My friend's father just passed away. The death notice said:

In lieu of [his] passing, Masses for the Dead are requested.

As a non-Catholic person, I am not sure what this means, the procedure, or what is appropriate.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Jackie

  { What does 'Masses for the Dead are requested' mean, what is the procedure, and what's proper? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Jackie —

Thanks for the question.

When the notice said:

Masses for the Dead are requested.

It was saying that the family would appreciate having Masses said for their Departed loved one.

Any Catholic or non-Catholic can do this by going to any rectory (the place where priests live)
and ask that one or more Masses be said for the intents of the Departed loved one:

[David or Dorothy] Deceased.

This is a great act of charity for anyone to do and a great act of love for the Departed loved one.

Because the Scriptures confirm that a worker is worth his wage (Luke 10:3-7), it is normal to give, what's called, a stipend <a sum paid as an allowance for services> to the priest. It's not absolutely necessary, but justice does call for something.

In the Boston area, to have a Mass said for a Faithful Departed loved one, the stipend is usually around $10.00, though this may vary from parish to parish, city to city, state to state, and for that matter, from country to country.

Just ask the secretary at the rectory:

  • What is the usual parish stipend for the priest?
    {Some times, under certain circumstances, the priest won't ask for a stipend.}

Based on your original question, I have another related web posting you may be interested in:

Many times people will misunderstand the term Masses for the Dead.

When a priest asks for Masses for the Dead, he is speaking to people who are alive and who are still on their Earthly pilgrimage. He is not implying that those who have passed to their particular judgment are dead. When we pass from this life, we will be more alive than ever compared to this life. A better term to use would be for him to ask for Masses for the Faithful Departed, who in many cases are having remaining self-love purified in the Holy Hospital of Heaven, Purgatory.

For those with a deep devotion to the Holy Souls, check out my other web site at:

HelpersOfTheHolySouls.com

Hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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