The Gregorian Mass: Best Gift to Your Departed Loved One

by: F. Bustamante

What I’m about to share with you is from personal experience. My father has been gone over twenty years when an aunt who believes in ‘mystics’ sat down with one. Apparently my father was mentioned during this visit. She told my aunt that my father has not yet attained the state of being in the presence of God, or heaven as we call it, and that we should consider having Gregorian Mass said for him. Now two decades is a very long time for us earth-bound but in the spiritual realm there is no such a thing as time. In other words your loved ones could be cleansed over many, many years and no one will be counting.

I was, of course, bothered by this. I went online and looked up ‘Gregorian Mass’ and where I could have it offered for my dad. I learned that it is a series of 30-consecutive masses offered for the eternal rest of a particular departed. In other words the 30 daily masses are said specially for the loved one who has passed. I also found out the mass offering is not inexpensive. Of course money is not the whole point of it. We are not ‘buying’ a mass; the monetary element  is part of the ‘sacrifice’ that gives weight to the intention you are petitioning for. To make my story short, I found one Catholic ministry with the donation I can afford and sent a petition for a Gregorian Mass for my father.

Several weeks passed. I had already forgotten about the Gregorian Mass when one night I dreamt about my father. The dream was intense. It happened very close to my waking up so I remembered details that I would not normally remember. In my dream I was in a room and someone said that my father was around. I responded excitedly that I needed to tell my mother because she didn’t know. In the dream, of course, I wasn’t aware that my father was no longer with the living. So I went out of the room and there was my father. He looked so young and handsome - he didn’t look like the older version of him but I knew it was my father. He gave me a big, tight hug, like he missed me and was happy to see me. He did not say anything. Suddenly I realized he was sweating and because he did not have a shirt on (not sure why) I could feel the sweat and it was making me uncomfortable. I squirmed myself free from the hug and my dad walked away down a dimly-lit corridor. He was a military man and had a certain walk - straight back and all. He headed towards an area with a pool. He was standing near it with a lifesaver on like he was about to jump into the water. He looked towards my direction and smiled. Water, I learned later, is a symbol of purification. That’s when it connected: I believed that my father was finally being freed from purgatory and was on his way towards the presence of God. He was probably saying thank you, and was appreciating what I did for him. I never dreamt about him again after that. He has been gone 34 years now. He passed away in an untimely and sudden manner at age 48. There was no time for reconciliation with God.

I’m not telling you to believe what I believe. I’m sharing this experience with you because like my father, there are souls in purgatory who are in need of our prayers and intercession. We are One Body Of Christ who share not just co-membership but destination. When we help others we also help ourselves.

Now in the Philippines there are lots of sinful people who take advantage of the poor and vulnerable. I am not judging, just stating a fact in a country that is overloaded with corruption. These folks could well afford a Gregorian Mass but let’s not forget, mortal sin takes you straight to a never-ending suffering. There’s absolutely no ticket out of there. Not even a million Gregorian Mass can save you and take you out of there. There’s a huge difference between hell and forever not being in the presence of God and the cleansing but temporary state of Purgatory.

By the way, seeing ‘mystics’, ‘fortune-tellers’, etc is considered sinful in the Catholic Faith. I asked my pastor about this and he said if it’s for fun, it’s okay. But taking it seriously and living your life based on mysticism and similar stuffs is not a good thing. Only God is ‘All-Knowing’.  In this case, I guess my relative’s visit with the ‘mystic’ produced something good— reminding us that the departed needs our prayers, just as we need theirs. They cannot help themselves but we can help them. There are times when we cannot help ourselves, but they can help us. It is a relationship that is an important part of our faith.

May the Poor Souls in Purgatory Rest In Peace.