Mass Intentions

Mass Stipend Policy for Saint Clare Parish
Revised 18 July 2018

Policies Set by the Vatican and the Diocese:

    1. Individual Mass stipends are set at $10; this amount is preset by the Diocese of Green Bay for all parishes within her jurisdiction.

2. Per Canon 948 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a single Mass may have no more than one stipend applied to it.[i]

2.1   Should the case arise (e.g., the recently deceased), two or more stipends and intentions may be accepted for a single Mass (this will be referred to as a “collective intention”).[ii]  However, this exception does not negate the norm as stated in Canon 948 in the footnotes.  Additionally, such a collective intention may only occur when the following have been met:
- The Pastor/Administrator has been consulted.
- The parties involved have signed a consent form.
- The “collective intention” Mass has been made public via the bulletin.

2.2   The “collective intention” mentioned above is envisioned as an exception to the rule.  It may not be done more than twice in a single week.  And the Pastor/Administrator will see that such exceptions are not used excessively.

3. Per Canon 953 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the parish cannot accept more Mass stipends than can be fulfilled in a given year.[iii]

3.1   The twelve month time frame begins the day the Mass stipend is accepted at the parish office.[iv]

4. One Mass on the weekend (Sunday or Saturday evening), and one Mass of a holy day of obligation must be keep open for the intention of the people (a pro populo Mass).[v]  No additional Mass stipend can be accepted for these pro populo Masses.

Policies Set by the Parish:

5. Any person may offer a Mass stipend for any pious intention, for example:
5.1   deceased family member(s) or friend(s);
5.2   anniversaries or other celebrations
5.3   ill persons (with the ill person’s consent; otherwise listed as a “special intention”)
5.4   other intentions (generally listed as a “special intention,” unless otherwise determined through discussion with the Pastor/Administrator)

6. Holy Day Masses sometimes have required and/or appropriate intentions which take precedence.  This will be at the discretion of the Pastor/Administrator.

7. One weekend Mass during the first full week of each month will be kept “open;” that is, no advanced intention will be accepted sooner than the Monday before.  This is to allow for the recently deceased to have a Mass offered, or to accommodate other unforeseen intentions.

8. Mass stipends may be accepted for Christmas (Eve/Day) Masses, Thanksgiving Day Masses, and Easter Sunday Masses.  However, these intentions may be repeated, at most, on a bi-annual basis.  This is to allow as many parishioners as possible to offer their intentions during these most holy days.

9. The intention for the All Souls Day Mass(es) will be “For all the faithful departed.”

10. Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil: The intention of the Holy Thursday Mass will be: “For all catechumens and candidates entering the Church.”  The intention of the Easter Vigil Mass will be: “For the newly baptized and confirmed around the world.”

11. Because of the number of people requesting Masses, individuals are asked to limit their initial requests to four (4) Masses per year, with a maximum of two (2) of those being on the weekend.

12. When a stipend has been accepted for a Mass, and for some legitimate reason the priest is not able to celebrate that Mass (e.g., a snow storm, or illness), a Mass for that intention will be celebrated as soon as possible, and the person requesting the intention will be notified.

13. Mass stipends are refundable if the Mass intention has not yet been published in the bulletin, and if the Mass has not yet been offered.

Reference notes for the above

[i] The Canon states: “Separate Masses are to be applied for the intentions of those for whom a single offering, although small, has been given and accepted.”

[ii] cf the “Decree on Mass Stipends,” published February 22, 1991 by the Congregation for the Clergy, Article 2 which states:

Ҥ1. In cases in which the people making the offering, have been previously explicitly informed and have freely consented to combining their offerings in a single offering, their intentions can be satisfied with a single Mass celebrated according to a "collective" intention.

§2. In this case it is necessary that the place and time for the celebration of this Mass, which is not to be said more than twice a week, be made public.

§3. The bishops in whose dioceses these cases occur are to keep in mind that this practice is an exception to the canonical law in effect; wherever the practice spreads excessively, also on the basis of erroneous ideas of the meaning of offerings for Masses, it must be considered an abuse which could progressively lead to the faithful's discontinuation of the practice of giving offerings for the celebration of Masses for individual intentions, thus causing the loss of a most ancient practice which is salutary for individual souls and the whole Church.

[iii] The Canon states: “No one is permitted to accept more offerings for Masses to be applied by himself than he can satisfy within a year.”

[iv] This is per Canon 955 §2 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states: “The time within which Masses must be celebrated begins on the day the priest who is to celebrate them received them unless it is otherwise evident.”

[v] This is in reference to Canon 534 §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states: “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.”