A reminder about Gregorian Masses.   I have a post HERE in which I try to match up priests who are available to take a Gregorian series of Masses with people who desire them.

There are a couple of issues.

First, some people desire TLM only.  This request is a little harder to match up.

Also, some people – some priests – seem not to take seriously my own request to write to me with the proper subject line and information in the body of the email.  This is a little exasperating for me.  Please, take care to write as I indicate.  It really helps.

In our Catholic tradition we celebrate Requiem Masses for the dead on the day we receive the news, or on the day itself or the day of burial, the third day, the seventh day and the thirtieth day (“month’s mind”).  We remember anniversaries.

Gregorian Masses are an ancient tradition going back to St. Gregory the Great (+604) of a continuous series of thirty consecutive Masses said in thirty days for the soul of a deceased person to release them from the Purgatory. Once upon a time, the Masses could only be at the main altar at the Monastery of St. Andrew in Rome, where Gregory had received a message from a “purgatorian” monk who had been released because of thirty Masses said for his soul. Eventually, the “privileged” altars were designated in other Roman churches. I wrote about one such the other day. Often when you visit Roman churches you will see that an altar has an inscription “ALTARE PRIVILEGIATUM”. Originally, these were designated by the Holy See. However, I think that the Holy See granted to bishops to establish them in their dioceses.

With the retooling of all the indulgences, these privileges were all canceled.  So, like priests who have been canceled, these altars stand silent and forgotten in the side aisles of churches, like so many sentinels of better days.

However, the Gregorian Masses remain in the Church and we have confidence in their efficacy, just as our forebears did going back to the 6th century and a Pope whom we call, “the Great”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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