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  • Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

What is the Ancient Gregorian Mass Tradition & How to Request a Gregorian Mass for a Soul?

Alexandra Clark| The Daily Knight

Dear Faithful Friends,

As we are continuing our pilgrimage on earth and joyfully await the second coming of Christ into our world and often into our hearts at Holy Communion, let us speak about death. We must be prepared for death ourselves and remember our Catholic duty to pray for the souls of the Faithful Departed in Purgatory. It is with great sadness when we lose someone in death, especially said if that soul was not living a Good Catholic Life, but we must never give up hope of salvation for our family and loves ones. Many Catholics don't know of a very special special set of Holy Masses that can be offered for a soul whose salvation was in question. This profound gift of Masses are the Ancient Gregorian Masses!

What is the Tradition of the Ancient Gregorian Masses?

Gregorian Masses derive their name from St. Gregory the Great, the first Benedictine Pope who ruled the Church from the year 590 to 604 A.D. Gregorian Masses are offered for thirty (30) consecutive days for the repose of the soul of a particular person. The Gregorian Masses can be offered only for ONE DECEASED SOUL during the 30 days. And for those thinking about this question, the body does not have to be present in the casket for these Masses. And finally, it does not matter if they are low or high Masses.

According to pre-1967 regulations, Gregorian Masses must be said for 30 days without interruption. If the celebrating priest broke the sequence for any reason, he would have to start over. It became a tradition in the Benedictine Monasteries. If the Gregorian Masses are done correctly for 30 consecutive days without interruption for a specific soul, it is believed that the soul will leave Purgatory and enter Heaven.

St. Gregory was the first to have a series of Masses said for a departed soul. The event that started this pious practice took place while he was abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome, prior to his election to the papacy.

In the fourth book of his Dialogues, St. Gregory relates how one of the monks of his monastery, named Justus, did not keep his vow of poverty very well. When Justus died, St. Gregory feared that the good monk might have to spend a long time in Purgatory because of his failures with regard to poverty. St. Gregory himself said:

[After Justus died] I began to take compassion upon him, and [thought of] what means there was to help him: whereupon I called again for Pretiosus, Prior of my Monastery, and with an heavy heart spoke thus unto him: “It is now a good while since that our brother which is departed remains in the torments of [purgatory], and therefore we must show him some charity, and labour what we may to procure his delivery: wherefore go your way, and see that for thirty days following [the Sacrifice of the Mass] be offered for him.

Then St. Gregory recounts a vision one of the monks had of Justus.

In the mean time, my mind being busied about other affairs, so that I took no heed to the days how they passed: upon a certain night the same monk that was dead, appeared to his brother Copiosus: who, seeing him, enquired of his state in this manner: “What is the matter, brother? And how is it with you?” to whom he answered thus: “Hitherto have I been in bad case, but now I am well; for this day have I received the communion [with God]”

The Council of Trent tells us, “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Perpetual Sacrifice, is the greatest of all suffrages for the Holy Souls.” Arranging a Requiem Mass for Catholic souls is very important and a duty. If a Requiem Mass cannot be said for their burial for some reason, a Requiem Mass can still be requested after, and if there is cause for concern employ the 30 Day Gregorian Requiem Masses!

Requesting and Finding a Gregorian Mass Set

Parish priests loaded with parish responsibilities generally find it difficult to fulfill all the conditions for accepting Gregorian Masses. Thus, it is usually easier to order them from convents, monasteries or residences of retired priests who have relatively fewer pastoral obligations and can celebrate the 30 Masses without any major problems. Remember too, that the Gregorian Masses are Requiem Masses so this is an extra Mass they would have to say on top of their normal required daily Mass.

A Gregorian Mass set from what I find is quite costly, (usually $500-$800 stipend is suggested) understandable though, as it takes a priest a month to do so and he has to offer this Holy Mass on top of the normal Mass for the day. Below is a short list of places where I have gotten Holy Masses offered. I only suggest those that offer the Tridentine Mass, also know as the Traditional Mass, Latin Mass or Mass of All Times:

The Sons of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts (SSIH), Nigeria

If you are needing a Gregorian Mass offered for a deceased loved one, I know of a faithful Traditional Catholic Priest in Nigeria, Africa, Fr. Abah Samuel-Maria. He just told me yesterday that he is currently available to offer Gregorian Masses or even just a single Tridentine Mass for your prayer intention(s).

However, Fr. Samuel Maria does not suggest a certain amount for a stipend, everyone should be to request a Holy Mass for their loved ones, thus, whatever stipend you would like to give he leaves to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and your capabilities. However, your Mass Stipend will help build the Traditional Catholic Mission in Nigeria.

Let him know that you are in need of a Holy Tridentine Mass or a Gregorian Mass set offered by sending an email to Fr. Abah Samuel-Maria: However, the best way he can receive your Holy Mass Stipend since he is in Nigeria, is if you donate your Mass Stipend amount with a memo note "For Mass intention" here at this USA Donation Page. Alternatively, you can also ask Father in the email to give you information to make the transfer to Nigeria yourself.

Father Samuel-Maria offering Holy Mass in Africa:

Fr. Samuel Water at Saints Peter and Paul in York, PA

Fr. Samuel Waters is a Third Order Cistercian and is able to offer single Holy Mass intentions or Gregorian Masses. He also does not want to place a price on the Infinite Value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. No souls should be barred in any way from being able to request a Holy Mass for the salvation and sanctification of souls. You can contact Father Waters via email or phone to set up the Holy Mass(s) intention and arrange with him the stipend: or better to call: 856-371-1271 .

Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery in Silver City, NM

They were able to accept requests but this is the current note on their website:

Gregorian Masses - Individual Mass Requests

Currently the monastery can accept no Gregorian or Individual Mass requests as our waiting list is too long to respond within a reasonable time. Check back periodically as we hope to be able to begin taking Mass intentions in the future.

Society of St. Pious X Priests

The SSPX were also accepting request for Gregorian Masses for $800 here at this website. but currently they have this note on their website as of 1/22/23:

If you know of other Priests available to offer Gregorian Mass, please comment below.

Share this important information with friends and family.

Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Souls in Purgatory

“Eternal Father I offer you the most precious blood of your divine son Jesus in union with the Masses said throughout the world today for all the holy souls in Purgatory for sinners everywhere sinners in the universal church those in my own home and within my family. Amen. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”



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