Masses are often offered for family, friends and relatives that have died. Praying for the dead is a Spiritual Work of Mercy. Offering a Mass for someone that has died is an especially comforting gesture to the family. We have Mass cards (sympathy cards) in the Parish Office that you can give to families to let them know that their loved one is being prayed for and when the Mass is being offered.
Mass can also be offered to commemorate joyful occasions and to give thanks to God for blessings received. I routinely celebrate Mass to give thanks to God for the birth of children, to remember their birthdays, to celebrate wedding anniversaries, etc. (The Parish Office also has appropriate cards for these occasions.) Mass can also be offered for a "special intention" when one wants the intention to remain private.
To understand why we haveMass intentions, it may help to reflect on why we celebrate Mass. At the Last Supper, Jesus instructed his apostles to celebrate the Eucharist as often as they gathered. Jesus wanted the Church throughout every age to participate in his Passion, his sacrifice on Calvary by which he died for our sins, and then rose from the dead.
Our Eucharistic celebration is an active participation in this sacrifice. It's not just a pious remembrance or symbolic gesture. Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we are actively engaged in our Lord's Passion, death and resurrection and receive immeasurable grace from receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
That's why having a Mass "offered" for someone, living or dead, is the greatest form of prayer that we can make on that person's behalf. Through the celebration of the Mass, our prayers are being united to our Lord's own Passion, death and resurrection, which we celebrate at every Eucharist.
Here at St. Josaphat, we celebrate 9 Masses a week, sometimes more. Each one of these Masses is an opportunity to dedicate the prayers of the entire congregation to a living or deceased relative or friend, or to your own special intention. Just imagine all those prayers rising to God, our Father in heaven, through Jesus Christ his Son!
The season of Advent begins our new Liturgical Year, and our new 2018 Mass Book of Intentions is now open. I encourage all of you to consider requesting Masses to be offered for your loved ones throughout the year to remember them on their anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
The customary offering for a Mass here is $20. However, any amount that you would like to offer is completely acceptable. Offering the Mass for your intention is more important than the donation that accompanies it. You can request Masses by visiting the Parish Office during office hours: Monday - Thursday 9 am - 8:30 pm, Friday & Saturday 9 am - 5 pm, and Sunday 9 am - 1 pm. Another option is to call the Parish Office, and our staff can send a Mass card directly to the recipient, from you. (In this case, you can make your offering through Give Central, or send in a check.) You can request a Mass at any time throughout the year.