Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gregorian Masses

As we approach the feast of All Souls Day, I just wanted to mention a wonderful thing that our homeschooling group has been doing for a few years now.

Whenever one of the parents of the members of our group dies, as many people who can and want to, pool their money and they have a set of Gregorian Masses said for the deceased.  This is good on so many levels.

First, of course, it is so beneficial for the deceased person.  My fil died on the 13th of October and by the 24th the masses were already beginning.  In case you don't know, the idea behind these came from Pope St. Gregory the Great.  Apparently a monk named Justus was released from purgatory after 30 Masses were offered on his behalf.  In 1884 and 1888, the Congregation of Indulgences declared this series of Masses to be "pious and reasonable" and approved of their use by the church.  Therefore it is believed that this series of 30 Masses, said on 30 consecutive days, is very powerful in helping the soul in purgatory.  While we cannot be certain in every case whether or not the soul is released after this time, we can be assured that it is very helpful to them.

It also is very comforting to the family of the deceased knowing that these Masses are being offered on their loved one's behalf.  We usually have our Gregorian Masses said by The Seraphic Mass Association and the suggested donation is $150.  One of our favorite group of priests, Miles Christi, also will say Gregorian Masses and their donation is $300, I believe.  Many times a family cannot afford to pay for that themselves, so the fact that many families pitch in for this work of mercy is a great consolation.  

This is such a wonderful thing to do for someone who has died.  When we first found out about this a number of years ago, we arranged to have them said for all of our grandparents. As we approach this wonderful month of November and focus on those who have gone before us, why not consider setting up a tradition like this one in your family, homeschooling or church group?

God Bless!


  1. I have an agreement with one of my friends that whichever one of us dies first, the other has 30 masses said for her. When my mother in law died 5 years ago, my father in law had the monks out at Clear Creek say 30 masses for her soul.

    That is awesome that your homeschool group pools money. I may need to mention that to ours.

  2. The idea of "paying" for masses is scandalous to me. If one has the resources to donate a sum of money to an organization, fine. If not, the masses should still be offered. What? Poor people don't get a pass for 30 days in purgatory? It's a shady practice that I wouldn't pay into. I'm quite sure God would accept the prayer intentions of an offered mass from regular folks like me.

    1. I'm sorry you feel that way as making donations for having Masses said is just that, making a donation. I was told at my parish to remember it is a donation and if you can't make one then of course the Mass would still be said. I had not inquired into that before as far as the Gregorian Masses go. I consider it a a thank you for the priest who is willing to undertake this mission.

      I agree with you - God will certainly accept prayer intentions for an offered Mass whether or not you make a donation for it :)