Consider giving the greatest spiritual gift a person could receive.
The celebration of Mass is the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith and is regarded as one of the greatest gifts God has given humanity.
One aspect of the Mass that we often forget is that we can ask the priest to offer the spiritual fruits of the Mass for a particular intention.
When a priest celebrates Mass each day, he offers each celebration of the Eucharist for a particular person, or intention. By doing so he applies special graces from God upon that person or intention.
Just as we are able to intercede for others by our personal prayers, the Church is able to intercede for us through the celebration of the Mass.
The faithful can request a Mass to be offered for someone and usually there is a small “stipend” or offering that is paid to the parish or religious community for various practical needs.
What are Mass intentions?
It’s important part to remember that you are not paying for the graces from God (which are of infinite value and can not be paid for), but for the material things that are involved with celebrating that particular Mass. With that in mind it makes much more sense and is not something that should cause scandal.
With all of this in mind, one of the greatest gifts a person can receive on Christmas Day is the celebration of a Mass for their intentions. For this reason it is a custom for many people to give the gift of a Mass intention to relatives or friends.
While it may not seem like a great material gift, the spiritual weight of a Mass is immeasurable.
As St. Anselm once said, “A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.” Or as St. John Vianney said, “Put all the good works in the world against one Holy Mass; they will be as a grain of sand beside a mountain.”
If you can’t think of a good Christmas gift for someone on your list, consider going to your local parish and having a Mass said for that person. It’s a wonderful gift, one that will bear much spiritual fruit, even if we can’t see it immediately.
What are Gregorian Masses for the dead?