Category Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How should I prepare to receive Holy Communion?

A. Remember that receiving the Eucharist at Mass is a gift of Christ. The Church wishes for all who attend Mass to receive Communion, but it is necessary that we examine our conscience to make sure we are truly prepared to receive Jesus.

The “required dispositions” of which the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks include:

1. That we are in a “state of grace,” not conscious of any unconfessed grave sin. (If you are conscious of grave sin, you should arrange to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible. If it is a serious situation such as not being married in the Church, you should make an appointment with the priest of your church and discuss this with him.)

2. That we have observed the one hour fast from food and drink (except for water and medicine) before receiving Holy Communion.

Those who are advanced in age or are infirm, as well as those who care for them, are exempt from this fast.

Q. What’s special about Eucharistic Adoration?

Our thanksgiving after Holy Mass and Holy Communion can be prolonged through the practice of Eucharistic Adoration. Eucharistic Adoration has been strongly recommended by saints and popes over the years.

….”of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the Sacraments, the one dearest to God, and the one most helpful to us”. Pope John Paul II

Pope Benedict XVI said “I heartily recommend to the Church’s priests and to the people of God the practice of Eucharistic Adoration”.

 

Can you give me 10 good reasons for hearing Mass?

1. Render God the highest adoration

2. Thank Him for all His blessings

3. Obtain all the favours you desire

4. Shorten your own purgatory and that of others

5. Preserve you from all dangers to soul and body

6. Increase your store of sanctifying grace

7, At the hour of death the Masses you haave heard will be your greatest consolation.

8. Every Mass heard will go with you to judgement to plead for pardon for you

9. One Mass heard during life will do you more good than many heard for you after death

10. Nothing is more powerful for bringing down God’s blessing on you for the day than to hear Mass; therefore try to hear Mass every day or as often as possible, and even twice if possible on Sundays

How important is the Mass?

and with all the fervour they were capable of, to praise Him and to ask Him to grant you the favour you desire. Consider what an immense amount of glory this would give God, and what wonderful power it would have with Him!

Yet, the power of one single Mass is infinitely greater than all this. And why? Because in the Mass it is not angels and saints alone who pray for you: it is Jesus Christ Himself, and He not only prays for you but He also offers up His merits for you, and as He is God, His prayers and His merits give infinitely more glory to God and are infinitely more powerful than the united prayers and offerings of all the angels and men, even if they were continued for all eternity.

We ought then to value the Mass above all things; we should never miss Mass when we have an opportunity of hearing it; we should try to hear it with the greatest attention, and, most important of all, we should offer our prayers in union with the prayers of Christ; this will make them all-powerful.

Q. I find it hard to believe in the vengeance of God.

A. The vengeance of God is totally different to human vengeance. Human vengeance is about getting your own back on somebody. God’s idea of vengeance is to destroy the sin by saving the sinner. Isaiah has a good description of God’s vengeance.

‘Vengeance is coming, the retribution of God; he is coming to save you.’

What a privilege is ours to celebrate God’s infinite mercy in the sacrament of Confession. Mercy keeps no catalogue of past sins.

What happens when we die?

 

Those judged completely united with God, are given immediate entry into the joy of heavenly life. They have no further need of our help and encouragement through prayers. Yet we need to remember them in our prayers. Our love for them is expressed in our devotion to them as saints, and in asking them to pray for us.

Isn’t praying for the dead just superstition?

We do not know what God’s judgement is on any particular soul. We know only that it will be a judgement of love. Our prayers prevent us from being inquisitive or superstitious about those who have died. Being inquisitive was what got Adam and Eve into trouble, and for us to have trivial curiosity about the dead is contrary to God’s will. More than that: it is extremely dangerous.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MASS CARDS

Question 1: Can you explain the  practice of Mass Offerings?

The Church  encourages priests when they say Mass to do so for an intention, particularly  for those in need. They are to do this whether or not they have received an  offering from one of the faithful to say Mass for a special intention. In  requesting a Mass the faithful are asking that the priest make their intention  his own. This practice grew within the Church over time and is now a long  established tradition. A Mass offering thus given as a form of sacrifice is a  means by which the faithful associate themselves more closely with the
sacrifice of the Mass.

Question 2: How do I arrange for a  Mass to be celebrated?

The best  practice in relation to arranging for a Mass to be celebrated for a particular  intention is to buy an unsigned Mass card and have it signed at a Church or by  a priest you know. This priest will then either celebrate the Mass himself or  pass it on to another priest (or religious order/ missionary society), who will  then celebrate the Mass for the intentions of the donor.

Question 3: Who do you support with  your Mass offering?

The Mass  offering is a contribution to the upkeep of priests and since many Mass  offerings are passed on to priests on the Missions, those who make an offering Mass participate in the missionary work of the Church.

Question 4: In the case where a  priest receives a lot of Mass offerings each day how do I know that Mass is celebrated for my particular intention?

The priest  who receives the offering for Mass has an obligation to apply Mass for the  specific intention of the person who has made the offering. He is to celebrate  Mass within a reasonable time. Irrespective of how many Masses he celebrates in  a day, a priest may only keep an offering for one Mass per day. If a priest  receives too many Mass intentions he must transfer any surplus Mass offerings,  in total, to another priest. Normally these offerings will be sent to priests  working in needy areas or to priests working on the missions.

Question 5: What is Church law on the  sale of Mass Cards?

The Church’s  norms and regulations about Mass offerings are clearly set out in the 1983 Code of canon Law and in the 1991 Decree  Mos lugiter. The Eucharist, the  ‘source and summit of the Christian Life’, is at the heart of our belief and  the Church has strict rules to govern the practice of Mass offerings so that  even the appearance of trafficking or trading is to be entirely excluded from  Mass offerings (Canon 947). Having  signed or stamped Mass cards for sale to the public in shops and other  commercial outlets is a practice that is not approved by the Irish Episcopal  conference, the Major Religious Superiors or the Superiors of Missionary  because it undermines a correct understanding of the Eucharist.

Question 6: What is the law in the  Ireland on the sale of Mass cards?

Since 1  September 2009, theCharities Act  2009 regulates the sale of Mass cards in Ireland. Under this Act, the sale of  Mass cards requires an ‘arrangement’ by which a Bishop or Religious Superior  must give permission for signed Mass cards to be sold. The Act also lays down  penalties to ensure that this law is kept. From the Church’s point of view, in  Ireland the bishops and Religious Superiors of this country are the only ones  who could make such an ‘arrangement’.

(In Antrim  Parish unsigned Mass cards can be obtained at the parish office during office hours, ie 10.30-15.30.)

 

March 2011

 

What is the Parish Policy on Church Door Collections in the Parish

 

In consultation with the Parish Finance Committee, it has been agreed that the parish policy is to try and accommodate two church door collections each year for charities from outside the Parish. Requests to take up such a collection should be put in writing for consideration by 31st October of the year prior to the collection being taken up, unless there are exceptional circumstances.