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How do you offer a Mass for someone?

At Mass, we typically hear, “This Mass is being offered for the intentions of [someone].” What does this mean, and how do we offer a Mass for a friend or family member?

The Mass is the most powerful of all prayers, so it is a very effective way to pray for loved ones. Praying for loved ones through the Mass is an ancient tradition. While you can personally offer your prayers at Mass for a special intention, requesting that a priest say a Mass for your intention can be even more powerful because the priest himself has offered the Mass for that intention.

Requesting a Mass for your special intention is easier than you might think. It’s often as simple as calling your local parish and putting in a request. There are also many religious orders and shrines with online Mass intention request forms which you can submit. It is customary to give a very small monetary gift when you request a Mass for a special intention. This money helps support the priest, parish facilities, or missions. In previous eras, for example, candles were expensive, and the monetary offering helped a poor priest buy those candles for saying your Mass.

You can offer a Mass for family members, friends, or any special intention, but Masses offered for the dead are particularly powerful. In fact, many souls have actually appeared to loved ones to ask for Masses to be said for them so that they will be released from Purgatory. Since the souls in Purgatory are no longer able to pray for themselves, they rely on the prayers and good works of those still on earth to help them enter heaven sooner. Jesus loves them so much that He will often release a soul sooner when such prayers as the Mass are offered.

Many of these souls have offered sobering warnings about what life in Purgatory is really like and how to avoid the temporary pain of Purgatory. To learn more about these warnings and messages from Purgatory, check out the bestseller, Hungry Souls, by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg.

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