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Mass Intention in the Prayer of the Faithful

Date: July 18, 2021
Author: Fr. Edward McNamara, LC

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and sacramental theology and director of the Sacerdos Institute at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: Some parishes here have the intention(s) of the Mass added in the Prayer of the Faithful, or general intercessions. Is that an acceptable liturgical practice? -- T.C., City of Navotas, Philippines

A: While there are no universal laws regarding this topic, some dioceses have published norms with common-sense indications that all priests may take into account.

There is no requirement to publicly announce the priest's intention during the Mass. In many places Mass intentions are announced beforehand in the parish bulletin, and this is usually sufficient.

The practice of publishing it in the bulletin as well as announcing it at Mass goes beyond what is required. But the priest may consider it pastorally expedient in some cases, especially if the person or family who requested the intention wishes to be present.

Many dioceses have specific norms according to what is common practice in each country.

The norms issued by the Diocese of Rome permit mentioning the intention either after the greeting at the beginning of Mass or as an intention of the Prayer of the Faithful.

Therefore, there is no doubt that including the intention within the Prayer of the Faithful is a liturgically acceptable practice even though not obligatory.

If the intention is for a deceased person, he or she is not usually mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer. This is done only when the Mass formula itself is taken from the Masses for the Dead. Apart from funerals, these formulas may be used on liturgically free days that coincide with significant anniversaries. They are not meant to be used on a daily basis.

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Readers may send questions to Please put the word "Liturgy" in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city, and your state, province, or country. Father McNamara can only answer a small selection of the great number of questions that arrive.


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