Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gregorian Masses

Father Z has a really interesting post about Gregorian Masses. Here is a little bit of it:
What are "Gregorian Masses"?

When you hear "Gregorian Masses" you are usually talking about the celebration of thirty Masses for thirty consecutive days for the soul of someone who has died. It is thought that St. Pope Gregory I (+604) spread this practice, which was already a tradition by his day. Pope Gregory had these Masses said for, at least, a fellow Roman monk named Justus (Dialogorum 4,57: Vade itaque, et ab hodierna die diebus triginta continuis offerre pro eo sacrificium stude, ut nullus omnino praetermittatur dies, quo pro absolutione illius salutaris hostia non immoletur.) At the end of the thirty days the dead monk appeared to his brother to let him know he was free from Purgatory. In any event, this became a widespread practice after Pope Gregory. I believe that the Dominican’s even had special Mass prayers in their Rite for this practice.

One of the things I love about being Catholic is learning about the many traditions and practices the church has. This is one of them. I wonder how often 30 days of Masses is done in this day and age. It is a big committment on the part of the priest.

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