Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gregorian Masses

Have you considered putting a request in your will to have Gregorian Masses said for your soul after your death? Masses are of great supernatural value and the highest form of reparation a suffering soul can offer to God. The Council of Trent states "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Perpetual Sacrifice, is the greatest of all suffrages for the holy souls." If we place this request in our wills, it will be honoured, but if we don't, who will have these Masses offered for our souls?

Gregorian Masses, so named because the practice was first popularized by Pope St. Gregory the Great, are a series of thirty Masses said for the soul of a deceased person. St Gregory relates in his Dialogues how, when he had finished the series of 30 Masses for a departed monk, the monk appeared to him to tell him he had thus gained entry into the glory of heaven on completion of the Gregorian Masses. This hallowed tradition has been declared "a pious and reasonable belief of the faithful" on the authority of the Sacred Roman Congregation of Indulgences.

There are a number of simple requirements to gain this benefit for a departed loved one.

  • It is required that thirty consecutive Masses be said; i.e., one per day for thirty days;
  • They must be said on thirty consecutive days WITHOUT interruption;
  • They can only be offered for one deceased person; not for several and not for all the faithful departed;
  • It is not required that these Masses be said by the same priest, but, they must be said for thirty consecutive days, whether by one, two or more priests, all for the same intention.
Due to the commitment it takes, it can be very difficult to find a priest or priests who can offer Gregorian Masses. That's why it's a good idea to schedule them with the mission priests. Mission priests don't have a long wait list for Mass intentions, in fact they survive from the stipends they receive and use those stipends to buy bread and wine for their Masses. The Mission priests I book Masses with are at this website, and here is their mailing address as well.

Catholic Mission Office
640 N. LaSalle Street
Suite 390
Chicago, IL 60610-4356

You can also find more sources here, and here.

UPDATE : I now use Clear Creek Monastery for Gregorian Masses. The monks there are very gracious, and you will receive a letter from the superior as well as a Mass card outlining the dates for your Gregorian Masses. The Masses are said in the extra ordinary form, the TLM.


AquinaSavio said...

Very interesting! I'd never heard of that tradition. My mom made me promise to do that for her. ;-)

Anonymous said...

30? Not 40? (In Orthodoxy, we have 40, that's why I asked).

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

40, 40,000, 40,000,'re schismatic, and without excuse, so what?

Anyway: what's "a Mass"?

Joyce Wyld said...

Is it a Tridentine mass?

paramedicgirl said...

if you're lucky, it would be a Tridentine Mass, but I think any 30 Masses said grouped together will most likely be a Novus Ordo.

swissmiss said...

I had Gregorian Masses said for my father when he passed away. I used the Seraphic Mass Association. They are Capuchin-Franciscans and I have used them many, many times for all sorts of masses. The Gregorian Masses cost $150
You can find them at
Seraphic Mass Association
Mission Office
3600 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 683-4700 or
(877) 737-9050 (tollfree)

paramedicgirl said...

I just found a link from another blog where you can get Gregorian Masses said in the Trientine rite.


Rev. Father Matthew Shapiro, OSB,
Annunciation Monastery at Clear Creek,
5804 W. Monastery Road ,