My Dear Parishioners, after my message that I’m going to offer Gregorian Masses for the repose of the soul of my Dad + Jan Drabik RIP, this coming September, I have received a very important questions, which I would like to answer and make clear some your concerns.
First – again, some explanation – what are The Gregorian Masses? An ancient but very often unfortunately forgotten custom of the Church is the offering of a daily Mass for 30 days for a soul in Purgatory. After the Masses are said, the soul would immediately be freed from Purgatory and enter Heaven. As its name implies, Gregorian Masses were named after St. Gregory the Great who was the pope from 590 to 604 A.D. This traditional sequence of Masses was not started by St. Gregory but became popular when he promoted it.
In his Dialogues, St. Gregory wrote that he had one Mass said each day over 30 days for the soul of Justus (a monk who had recently died). After the last Mass was said for him, he appeared to his brother, Copiosus, to tell him the good news of his departure from Purgatory into Heaven. Copiosus did not know about the 30 Masses that were said for his brother. He found out about them later when he spoke to the monks about his brother’s deliverance.
In the church of Sts. Andrew and Gregory (located on Mt. Coelius, where Justus had died in the convent of St. Andrew), there is an inscription of a private revelation that St. Gregory received on the benefits of 30 consecutive Masses for a soul in Purgatory.
It is not known why Gregorian Masses would release a soul from Purgatory. The custom of praying 30 days for the dead can be traced back to the Old Testament. The Jews prayed for 30 days after the death of Moses according to their “days of weeping for the mourning rites” (Deuteronomy 34:8).
Gregorian Masses spread throughout Europe and many Religious Orders. It unfortunately faded after the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, but the love Catholics have for the holy souls gradually brought back this practice. The way the Masses are to be said is once per day for 30 consecutive days. They can only be said for one person at a time who is in Purgatory. If the blessed soul is already in Heaven, the indulgences may be applied to another needy soul according to God’s infinite mercy. The Masses must be said one day after another without any interruption. The 30 Masses cannot all be Masses of Requiem. They can also be said at any altar.
Another problem is that most parish priests will not have the time to do a daily Mass for an individual in Purgatory.
Your concern is, if the Gregorian Masses for my dead Dad will fill all the days of September instead of other intentions – not at all. I do celebrate every day a silent Mass at 5.00am, because many people from my previous Polish & English Parishes still send me the intentions to offer at Mass, and many times these intentions are The Gregorian Masses for their deceased. So, it will not interrupt your intentions – there will be only a Mass for my Dad if there will be no other intention booked.
What are Gregorian Masses?
Gregorian Masses are a series of Holy Masses traditionally offered on 30 consecutive days as soon as possible after a person’s death. They are offered for an individual soul.
The custom of offering Gregorian Masses for a particular soul recognizes that few people are immediately ready for heaven after death, and that, through the infinite intercessory power of Christ’s sacrifice, made present in Holy Mass, a soul can be continually perfected in grace and enabled to enter finally into the union with the Most Holy Trinity – our God, Who is Love Itself.
We will send you or the person you designate a certificate announcing the Gregorian Masses.
History of Gregorian Masses
Gregorian Masses take their name from Saint Gregory the Great, who was sovereign Pontiff from 590 to 604. St. Gregory the Great contributed to the spread of the pious practice of having these Masses celebrated for the deliverance of the souls from purgatory. In his Dialogues, he tells us that he had Masses on thirty consecutive days offered for the repose of the soul of Justus, a monk who had died in the convent of St. Andrew in Rome. At the end of the thirtieth Mass, the deceased appeared to one of his fellow monks and announced that he had been delivered from the flames of Purgatory.