ASK FATHER: Mass intentions for groups of people

From a reader…


As the anniversary of 9/11 approaches I would like to have mass said for the members of the NYPD and FDNY who died on 9/11. Sadly, when added up that means several hundred names. Can a priest simply say a mass for “all members of the NYPD and FDNY” or do they have to be named individually. And thank for for always supporting cops.

First, thank you for praying for the souls of first responders, especially for LEOs, for whom I have a warm heart.

Yes, you can pray for “all members” of the police department and the fire department who died on that day and because of the ill-effects of what they experienced.  God knows them, and you know them too.  You don’t have to say all their names individually for the intention for Holy Mass.

When we have intentions for a specific group, we have a moral intention to pray for them all.  For example, you might have an intention for the deceased members of the Bertram and Hilda MacGuillicuddy Family, the Members of the Ladies Sodality of the Lord’s Eyebrow on the Tabernacle Door, the Donors of Fr. Z’s Blog (for whom I pray regularly).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    I one had some random woman come up to me at church and ask me to pray for her daughter who was a Dominican sister and wasn’t doing too well spiritually. I had a Mass offered for her, which our priest put as “random woman’s daughter” (in Latin).

  2. Vince K says:

    Is it more efficacious to pray for one particular person?

    [I think God can handle the multiple requests.]

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