From a reader:
I have noticed that on some of the vessels, vestments, and crucifix at Mass, there is an inscription to a deceased person.
Is this a tradition? Is there some sort of indulgence for the deceased person?
Yes, it is a tradition and, No, there is no indulgence for the person whose name is on something, because of donations made to obtain the object in question.
It is a common thing to inscribe a sacred vessel with the name or names of the donors. This is especially common with chalices. You will see this also for furnishings of the sanctuary, statues, stained-glass windows, etc.
As a matter of fact, I am trying to raise some money right now to buy a chalice which someone offered me for sale. It is pretty spiffy. I would then want to add the names of the people somehow on a plate I would have made to cover the bottom of the chalice. That is what I did for the chalice I have from when I was ordained. Then I would ask the bishop to consecrate it with the older rite. When I use my chalice from my ordination, I think of the people who gave it to me and I remember them during Mass at the “Memento of the living” and the “Memento of the dead”. Thus, they are constantly prayed for during Mass. Not bad.
The diligent priest will do this, happily and eagerly and regularly.
Moreover, the thoughtful lay person, especially lay people who are not well-off enough to give larger or more costly items which enrich the parish’s worship, would do well to pray for the people whose names they see inscribed.
We should be grateful for donations and benefactors. We benefit from the the gifts other people make to the parish. Those beautiful vestments you see up there may have been given by someone to whom you ought to be grateful. You can see names on the stained-glass. Say prayers for them, lest their generosity or the person in whose remembrance they were given be forgotten.
It is important to remember benefactors, living and dead, in prayer. That is why I remind people that I say Masses for benefactors.
And, may I add, those of you who benefit from this blog and who have never donated… you might pray for my benefactors as well. Without their help, this blog would not exist. Be grateful to them.
I especially recommend to your prayers DY, without whose help none of this would be here.