Catholic Mass Cards have significant meaning for those who hold onto them. They are traditionally distributed at Catholic masses and funeral services.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s the Purpose of a Catholic Mass Card for the Deceased?
- What Do Catholic Mass Cards Have on Them?
- Are Catholic Mass Cards Just for Funerals?
- How Do You Get a Catholic Mass Card?
- Where You Can Purchase Catholic Mass Cards
Mass and prayer cards are a way to show physical appreciation and support for guests of a mass, service, or memorial. But how do you go about buying Catholic Mass Cards? What should you know before you create them? There are a few key things to consider, as well as what makes a Catholic Mass Card different from other prayer cards.
What’s the Purpose of a Catholic Mass Card for the Deceased?
The purpose of a Catholic Mass Card for the deceased is to serve as a powerful memento. The meaning of Mass Cards transcends the fact that they’re a piece of paper. Physically, they may be small, but their impact is mighty.
You can carry Mass Cards in your wallet or bag, or you can even keep them in your car. You can pull them out whenever you need a reminder of your loved one or a higher power. They can also be tucked away in a special place at home for you to reflect on at a time of your choosing.
The sentiments you associate with the memorial mass for your loved ones are powerful, and Mass Cards can serve as a reminder.
What Do Catholic Mass Cards Have on Them?
Catholic Mass Cards feature imagery, prayers, and verses that are believed to protect and empower those who hold them. Catholic Mass Cards are double-sided, and each side serves an essential purpose.
Imagery of saints, prophets, or other figures
On one side, you will typically find an image of a saint, prophet, or other key biblical figures. An image of the Virgin Mary is a very common choice. Catholicism has long been associated with elaborate scenes and images of saints, prophets, and other biblical phenomena.
Placing yourself in the presence of this imagery can be quite impactful. The impact is amplified when combined with the reverse side of the Mass Card. That is, specific prayers, verses, and details about a late loved one.
Traditional prayers, verses, or sentiments
The reverse side of a Catholic Mass Card at a funeral will usually feature the deceased’s name, birthday, death date, and perhaps an icon, like a cross or a dove. Sometimes Mass Cards include a photograph of the dead. The prayer card might also include a brief phrase or verse that captures the deceased’s essence and purpose while on earth.
For example, “In loving memory of Betty Alexander, Oct 2, 1948–Oct 3, 2020. Beloved mother, teacher, and friend.”
While prayer cards can be fully customized to your liking, Catholic Mass Cards tend to have one of a few traditional prayers on them. Catholic Mass Cards are typically structured, and the same prayers are often repeated each time.
Here are some common prayers found on Catholic Mass Cards and in Catholic funeral readings:
- Prayer for the Dead: “In your hands, O Lord, we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters. In this life, you embraced them with your tender love; deliver them now from every evil and bid them eternal rest.”
- Hail Mary: The Hail Mary is part of a more extended prayer or set of prayers, known as the Holy Rosary, and calls upon perhaps the most iconic image in Catholicism, the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
- Safely Home: This poem helps to provide solace and remind mourners that their loved one has returned home to the Lord.
- Prayer for the Deceased: Prayer for the Deceased is similar to Prayer for the Dead. “Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.”
- The Lord’s Prayer: The Lord’s prayer is a traditional Catholic prayer recited every mass before communion. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
Are Catholic Mass Cards Just for Funerals?
You can purchase or make Catholic Mass Cards for other occasions, not just in a loved one’s memory. However, mass or prayer cards are expected at Catholic funerals. Catholic Mass Cards can also be seasonal, such as for Christmas or Easter.
Catholic Mass Cards may highlight current readings or call attention to events going on around the world in need of prayer. The same imagery and sentiments are appropriate for all Catholic Mass Cards. Yet, Catholic Mass Cards made for an event other than a mass or funeral will feature prayers or verses that focus on themes other than death.
How Do You Get a Catholic Mass Card?
Mass Cards are an essential part of expressing both care and condolences for memorial attendees. Even if someone cannot attend the mass or funeral, you can send Catholic condolences or other wishes easily in the mail.
Sending a Mass Card is a great way to connect with loved ones and show your support to those who may live far away or can’t travel.
Sharing Catholic Mass Cards, prayers, and a loved one’s memory even to people you don’t know well can be a powerful practice. You can order Catholic Mass Cards or make them yourself. Typically funeral homes and parishes have a great deal of experience and can support this process.
Where You Can Purchase Catholic Mass Cards
Homemade Catholic Mass Cards can be just as authentic if you make them with care and attention. However, one benefit of buying them from a parish or Catholic retailer is that a Priest will bless them. You can have peace of mind that you are upholding traditions and getting the card straight from the source.
That being said, there are ways to commission a priest to bless any cards you make. After all, before sophisticated or large-scale printing, prayer cards were made — printed or painted and constructed — entirely by hand. Some were elaborate. Simple is beautiful too.
Through a local Catholic parish
If you don’t already attend a Catholic parish, you can find one easily via Google. It is nice to know that you’re supporting a local church with your purchase. If your local parish is unable to produce Catholic Mass Cards for you, they should be able to connect you to a local service that can.
From an online Catholic retailer
There are quite a few Christian and Catholic retailers that sell all kinds of materials, including Mass Cards. Some may be able to produce a large volume of your choice. This might be a more affordable route.
A card or printing service
Religious entities aren’t the only option. Plenty of online printing services can create large orders quickly and do as beautiful of a job as a church would. You also may have more freedom to customize card sizes, colors, textures, designs, and more, since they’re coming from a supplier that specializes in these elements.
Purchase supplies and make them yourself
Catholic Mass Cards and other prayer cards were historically made by hand. Paper had to be created, cut, and even pressed or embossed. These cards were often painted with delicate imagery or embellished with gold leaf, fabric, or gems.
You don’t have to get this elaborate with your cards by any means, but you can create something as impressive with modern materials. Keep in mind that these cards are something that the recipient will want to hold onto for a long time, so try to make them beautiful as well as functional and durable.
Mass Cards Help Spread Hope
There’s something powerful about carrying symbols, prayers, and imagery with us, regardless of religion. Wearing crosses, saints, carrying rosaries, and reading prayer cards can feel impactful on our daily lives.
Whether you’re creating Catholic Mass Cards for a funeral or just because, remember the potential you have to share hope with someone who may really need it.