Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

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.


  { 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:

Hope this helps,


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.