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Mass Intentions

Praying for our loved ones


The practice of offering Mass for particular intentions is an ancient one, dating back to the early Church as seen in the catacombs of the second century and on tombs. This tradition is also seen in St. Augustine’s Confessions (c. 397), where Monica asks Augustine, “One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.” The practice continues unbroken.

Calendar of Availability

The schedule and availability of Mass intentions is now online. Before requesting a Mass Intention for your loved ones, please check the availability if you have a specific date in mind.

Parish Contact

To schedule a Mass Intention for your loved one or a special occasion, please contact the parish office (703) 221-4044 – the receptionist will be happy to assist you – or come visit us in person!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some additional FAQs that folks ask as regards Masss Intentions. Let us know if you have more questions … who knows, we might add them to this list!!



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For whom or what occasions can we schedule a Mass Intention?

A Mass intention may be requested for: a deceased loved one; a living person who is sick or suffering; a living person who is celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special moment in their life; or for the special intention of the individual requesting the Mass.  An intention for a cause or issue (acceptable to the Church) will simply be listed as “special intention. An intention can not be scheduled for pets, your favorite sports team, luck in the lottery, or Saints of the Church (e.g. “in honor of St. Anthony”) or other miscellaneous secular.

At what Masses can an Intention be scheduled?

Mass intentions may be requested for Sundays, most holidays and weekdays throughout the year.  Mass intentions cannot be scheduled for the Holy Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil), or All Souls Day (November 2).  One Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation must be scheduled for the general intentions of our parishioners known as Pro Populo (For the People).

Are there any limitations of requests for Mass Intentions?

By Church  Canon Law Mass intentions may not be scheduled for more than one year in advance. The parish announces in December that the Mass Intentions book is open for the full year to follow: twelve (12) months January 1st to December 31st.

In addition, the parish has certain limitations in place to ensure that all parishioners have access to secure a Mass Intention. When access is not a problem, the parish can waive the limitations to accomodate requests

A maximum of six (6) intentions per year from any one individual may be scheduled at the parish for  weekend Masses. All other requests will be scheduled for the parish daily Masses.

A maximum of six (6) Masses per year may be scheduled at the parish for any one intention in fairness to others who wish to request a Mass intention. Additional Masses may be requested; these will be reviewed by the pastor for consideration.

Intentions that cannot be accommodated by our priests within a calendar year will be forwarded to other priests in the Franciscan province where Mass intentions are less numerous – if agreed by the requestor.

Bulletin and Announcements at Mass

Please be aware that requests for a Mass Intention made during the week, will not appar in the following Sunday bulletin because by Monday the bulletin is already out for publishing and printing.

Lengthy intention listings cannot be published in the bulletin and must be edited for the sake of brevity. Since the purpose of publishing the intention in the bulletin is to notify the family and friends of the intention, we suggest the omission of middle initials, titles, etc. when possible. Each intention is limited to either two names or one group. Please be sure to indicate if the person for whom the Mass is requested is living or dead.

Announcememnts of the Masss intention is made in the anouncements before the start of Mass.

Can anyone request a Mass Intention?

Requests will be honored on a first-come, first serve basis in the order in which the request is received at the Parish Office from registered parishioners. At this time, we are not accepting Mass intention requests from those not registered at St. Francis in order that we serve the needs of our own community. We would encourage you to request intentions from your local parish.

Is there a stipend associated with the Mass Intention?

A stipend is to accompany each Mass request. Currently a $10 stipend is usual.  We ask that the request and stipend be submitted together.  Payment is by either cash or check and made payable to “St. Francis of Assisi Church.”  Please write “Mass Intentions” on the check memo line.

Is there a form available to request a Mass Intention?

Requests for Mass Intentions must be made by filling out the form (found near the entrance of the church, in parish office or online). Completed forms with stipends may be dropped in the weekly collection basket; mailed to the Parish Office; or dropped off in person.

Schedule Changes

The schedule of Mass intentions is subject to change according to the Mass schedule and there is no promise that they will be said on the scheduled day due to priest illness, schedule change, vacations, etc.  An attempt will be made to contact the concerned parties ahead of time, but that is not always possible.

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