Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Modest Proposal - Mass Savings


While I am in favour of mass education and mass literacy I have a problem with mass cards.

These cards, within the Roman Catholic tradition, signified the "purchase" of a mass, or of its benefits, in favour of a third party.

They were usually used in the context of funerals to attempt to purchase the escape of the recently deceased from the torments of Purgatory and release them into the everlasting bliss of the heavenly abode.

Funerals provoke the purchase and presentation of up to hundreds of mass cards for the benefit of a recently departed individual soul.

Now, this gives rise to a serious theological conundrum. The benefits of a single mass are supposed to be infinite. So a single mass should not only offset the punishment of an individual soul, but it should actually sort out all souls for all time.

The matter has been complicated in recent times by the selling of pre-signed mass cards whose links to bona fide masses by authorised clerics has been a matter of dispute. This has led to some dubiously constitutional legislation which remains to be tested.

I would like to make a concrete proposal.

Why not subscribe (or whatever) to one mass to be said for your intentions during your lifetime. And then simply send "intentions" cards to people which would be backstopped by the infinite benefits of the already "purchased" mass.

A once-off lifetime money-saver but reaping all and every benefit of tradionally repetitive Mass Card purchases.

Where's the catch?


3 comments:

Fr. Joe said...

Indulgences for the Holy Souls

From 12 O'CIock noon on November 1st until midnight on November 2nd, all who have confessed, received Holy Communion, and prayed for the Pope's intentions (one Our Father and Hail Mary, or any other prayer of one's choice) can gain one plenary indulgence by visiting a church or oratory, and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostles' Creed. This índulgence is applicable only to the souls of the departed. ...

The faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may also gain a plenary indulgence applicable on!y to the Holy Souls on the usual conditions once per day from 1st - 8th November. ...

These indulgenced actions cancel out the negative consequences which sins cause us and others. Even after Confession, and our sins have been forgiven, the damage or disorder sinful actions have caused can remain. Indulgenced actions for the Holy Souls help repaír that disorder. ...

Source: St. Brigid's Parish Newsletter, November 2010.

Póló said...

@Fr. Joe

That's doing it the hard way. I think my proposal is much neater though it would, of course, have significant negative implications for the clerical income stream over a lifetime.

Nora said...

Of course you are right, one Mass should be sufficient.