Can a Catholic mass intention be requested by a Catholic family member for a deceased Protestant relative? If yes, will his/her name be spoken during the Universal Prayer along with other Catholic names?


  • can the request for the deceased Protestant be made by an ecumenically-minded Protestant who understands the right meaning of the mass for Catholics (i.e. mass as a sacrifice)?
  • what if the deceased is a lapsed Catholic?

(the point of mentioning the variations is to help an answer focus on the essence of how mass intention works)

1 Answer 1


The broad question has an easy answer:

Canon 901: A priest is free to apply the Mass for anyone, living or dead.

A search for requiem masses offered for the late Queen Elizabeth II will yield a large number, many of which were actually mandated to be offered in parishes by bishops. The Queen was a Protestant, and in fact died a Scottish Presbyterian.

There is no reason that they should not be prayed for by name in the Universal Prayer. We can't tell where they are or whether they will benefit from prayer, so we pray for them. Mass is offered for the same reason.

I am sure I recall reading that non-Catholics should not be included by name in the Prayer of Consecration itself ["Remember also, Lord, your servant(s) N. (and N.) who have gone before us with the sign of faith..."], but I can no longer find a reference for that. Others may know better.

Variation 1: It doesn't matter who asks for the Mass. It will be celebrated by a Catholic priest with his understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass.

Vairation 2: A lapsed Catholic is a Catholic.

  • I just find out that there is no prescribed way of mentioning the name whose mass is offered (other than for Funeral mass). Is it true that sometimes it is mentioned in the Greeting as well? What other places in the Mass can the name be mentioned? I also read that the name doesn't need to be mentioned at all. Another question is the difference between mass intention and the book of petition. Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 14:52
  • 1
    I have asked Priests to say a Mass for deaceased persons. They did not really ask if the persons were Catholic or not. They did ask if it was ok to mentioned the intention to those who attended the Mass. Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 18:51

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