In today’s world, suffering is looked down upon. Suffering is thought to be a curse that we can’t escape. We do everything we can to run from it, and to avoid it at all costs. But there is power in suffering. In this episode, I share a talk I gave during Lent called “The Power of the Cross.”
The tradition of the “Gregorian Mass” goes back to its namesake Saint Gregory the Great. Gregory served as Supreme Pontiff from 590 to 604. The Gregorian Mass is a serious of 30 daily Masses celebrated consecutively for the soul of a departed person.
Shortly after Gregory’s election, Justus, a monk from his former monastery admitted to hiding some gold coins among his medication. Gregory imposed a severe penalty on the monk to bring about his conversion.
Soon after Justus died. And out of charity, Gregory commanded the Abbot of the monastery to offer 30 consecutive Masses for the repose of the monk’s soul. When the Masses were completely, Justus appeared to a friend and announced that he had been released from purgatory through the offering of the 30 Masses. In time, the “Gregorian Mass” spread from the Roman Monastery to other monasteries and eventually through the Church.
Today, the Gregorian Mass is celebrated mostly celebrated in monasteries and by Religious who are able to fulfill the obligation of 30 uninterrupted Masses. My friend Fr. Zuhlsdorf often puts out a call to priests who are able to celebrate the Gregorian Mass and tells people how they can schedule one.
There are no special prayers to be said. The Mass celebrated may be a Mass for the dead if it is permitted on that day, but it is not necessary. All that is necessary is that it is a series of 30 Masses celebrated without interruption for 30 days. I have chosen to offer the 30 Masses in the Extraordinary Form. But they can be in either forms of the Roman Rite or mixed.
As you may know, my father passed away on April 18th (Holy Thursday). I began celebrating a Gregorian Mass for him on my birthday, the feast of St. Peter Martyr (April 29th). Today is day 7.
When I return to the parish on Wednesday, I will celebrate the Gregorian Mass so that you may attend if you like on certain days.