THE HISTORY OF MASS INTENTIONS
The practice of requesting a Mass to be offered for loved ones, living or deceased, is a beautiful and meaningful part of our Catholic tradition. It is one of the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy: counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries, bearing wrongs patiently, and praying for the living and the dead. It is comforting to realize that we are carrying out the traditions of the Early Church; actions that our ancestors participated in also.
From the very beginnings of the Church, it was customary for the faithful to donate the bread and wine to be used in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. As the Church grew and men and women in religious orders began to bake bread and make wine specifically for Church use, offerings of money were substituted for the actual bread and wine. The people of the early Church were so generous that they gave more money than was necessary for the cost of the bread and wine. This additional money was used to assist the poor and to support the clergy. Gradually, the priests began to pray specific intentions of the giver in the celebration of a Mass as a response to these donations.
Through this voluntary offering, the giver seeks spiritual benefits from God for the benefit of the persons or concerns that are specially held in prayer at the Mass. The Code of Canon Law (canon 946) states that: “Christ’s faithful who make an offering so that Mass can be celebrated for their intention contribute to the good of the Church, and by that offering they share in the Church’s concern for the support of its ministers and its activities.”
According to the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the Mass “is quite properly offered according to apostolic tradition not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions and other needs of the faithful who are living, but also for those who have died in Christ but are not yet fully purified”
(Session XXII, Chapter 2). The deep faith and generous charity of the parishioners of St. John Parish is demonstrated in the numerous Mass offerings donated to the parish, especially for the beloved deceased.
Here at our Churches, all the faithful, including the priest, pray for their own intentions at Mass, and also for the intentions of all present, as well as for the needs of our world, Universal Church, and local community in our Prayers of the Faithful. In addition, each of the Eucharistic prayers contains prayers for many intentions….the Prayer of the Faithful does likewise. The Mass is never offered for a single intention but for many.
The personal intentions of every person present for the celebration of the Mass are brought before God. Each celebration of the Eucharist is for all those present and for the particular intentions and needs of all the Church. A Mass is never celebrated only for a particular intention, and your particular intentions can be remembered during the celebration of any Mass.
St. John Mass Stipend Guidelines
Effective November 6, 2022
- When the Mass book opens, only registered, active St. John and St. Joseph parishioners may obtain intentions. Those from other parishes may do so after December 31st.
- A family may obtain one (1) Saturday or Sunday Mass intention and two (2) weekday intentions in the Mass Intention book over the period of six months.
- Masses for each of our parishioners who have entered into eternal life during the preceding calendar year AND whose funerals were celebrated at either church, will be assured a reserved Mass Intention near the one-year anniversary. Immediate family members wishing to take advantage of the reserved Mass should submit their request and donation when the Mass Intention Book opens. These reserved Mass Intentions shall not be considered as one of three Mass Intentions mentioned in #2 above.
- Requests for Mass intentions may be requested in person in the Parish Office, by mail or by calling the Office at 517-787-0553 during posted Office hours. A $10 donation, as determined by diocesan policy, is to accompany each Mass request before it can be recorded in the Mass Intention Book.
- One Mass every Sunday must be scheduled for the intentions of our parishioners known as “Pro Populo” (For the People) as required by Canon Law and diocesan statute.
- SPECIAL DAYS: Mass intentions cannot be scheduled for:
¨ Holy Thursday, Easter, Christmas when the intentions are all “Pro Populo”;
¨ Mothers’ Day when the intentions will be “all mothers of the parish, living and deceased”;
¨ Father’s Day when the intention will be “all fathers of the parish, living and deceased”;
¨ All Saints’ Day Vigil (October 31)
¨ All Souls’ Day (November 2) when the intention will be “All the faithful departed”.
- If for an unforeseen circumstance a Mass cancellation occurs, the intention for the Mass will be rescheduled on the next available opening.
- Requests for Mass Intentions will be accepted for the period of January 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023.
Our Mass Intentions Book will open Monday, Nov 14th at 9 a.m.
Request Forms will be available the weekend of Sunday, November 13th after all Masses