“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 work” (Canon #946). The following information is provided to clarify questions regarding the donations made for Mass Intentions. All responses are made in accord with the 1983 Code of Canon Law (# 534, and #945-958) and the policies established by the Diocese of Columbus (Prot. No. 3/97, et al).
St. Michael Catholic Church
Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions for requesting Mass Intentions
To schedule a Mass, call the parish office during normal business hours, or schedule a Mass Intention by email.
A Mass intention may be offered for a deceased love one or a close family member or friend who is in need of prayers due to illness or other struggle. The parish reserves the right to limit intentions that may not be appropriate. In order to offer the opportunity for all parishioners to schedule a Mass Intention for their loved ones and to accommodate recently deceased individuals, the following guidelines have been established:
A. “Support the Missions” option
- We appreciate your desire to have Masses said for your loved ones at St. Michael the Archangel Parish. Because of the number of requests we receive, oftentimes we are not able to fulfill them as soon as some would like. If you would like to have a Mass Intention for your loved one sooner than we are able, we suggest sending your requests to the Missions Office of the Diocese of Columbus at columbuscatholic.org/request-a-mass. For many Mission Churches and Missionaries, Mass Intentions are a major source of income for their support. Please consider supporting the Missions in this manner.
B. What is the normal and customary donation for a Mass Intention?
- Each (Arch)diocese establishes their own policies regarding normal and customary donation for Mass Intention. Therefore, these policies will vary from diocese to diocese. The normal offering for any announced or unannounced Mass Intention, as established in the Diocese of Columbus, is $10. [An announced Mass is one that is arranged for a definite day and hour and is announced in the weekly bulletin according to parish custom. Unannounced are all others, including intentions for concelebrated Masses (Prot. No 3/97)].
- A donation greater than $10 for a single Mass may be accepted if that is the expressed intention of the donor. Otherwise, when a contribution is received for an indefinite number of Masses, then the number of Masses offered will be calculated on the basis of the $10 stipend per Mass.
- For those who cannot afford an offering for a Mass Intention, but would like to schedule a Mass for a loved one, please contact the parish office or the pastor/priest directly to make arrangements.
C. What is a Pro-Populo Mass?
- A Pro-Populo Mass is a Mass offered for the benefit of the people of the parish. By Canon Law, the pastor of the parish is to see to it that at least one Pro-Populo Mass is always offered gratis on Sundays (or Sat. Evening Vigil) and Holy Days of Obligation (cf. Canon #534). No monetary offering is to be made for Pro-Populo Masses. If the pastor is not the celebrant at these Masses, then the pastor will see to it that other priests receive the regular $10 offering. A Pro-Populo Mass may never be replaced by any other Mass Intention.
D. How many stipends can be offered for each Mass? What about combining Mass intentions?
- Only one stipend per mass and one stipend per day (except on Christmas) may be accepted by a priest. When two (or more) Masses are celebrated on the same day by the same priest, a Mass intention may still be offered, but the stipend for any Masses over the canonical limit will be sent to the Diocesan Seminary Fund (Canon 951; Prot. No. 3/97).
- It is not permitted to combine Mass intentions that have already been received and accepted with the understanding that a separate Mass would be offered, or to ask donors to consent to the subsequent combination of these intentions with other separate intentions (Prot. No 3/97).
- Only ONE stipend is to be collected for any Mass, no matter the number of intentions. Concelebrating Priests may be given a separate stipend for intentions other than the one assigned for the day (see B. #1 above).
E. When is Mass Stipends to be applied?
- Generally, it is understood that all Mass Intentions are to be applied within two years of the request at the parish. If the requested intention cannot be fulfilled within two years, then the Mass offering and intention will be transferred to the Missions Office of the Diocese of Columbus for distribution to local and missionary priests in need of them (Prot. No 3/97). However, a donor may request that their donations be honored only at the parish and not be subject to the two-year limit.
F. Other things to consider are:
- Per Parish Policy, each family/group is limited to 12 total Mass Intention requests per calendar year. Of those, only 4 of those may be Saturday Vigil/Sunday Masses. Please submit one form for each request.
- The offering made for a Mass Intention does not imply “ownership” of the Mass. All the faithful at any Mass may offer their own intentions in private, which may not be the same as the Mass Intention.
- Mass Intentions, other than for the deceased, will be considered as a “Special Intention.”
- Mass Intention requests may be made for the rest of the 2020 calendar year and the 2021 calendar year. We are unable to accept Mass requests beyond this time frame.