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Anyone know if there's anything that says how the benefits of masses said for oneself/others/the dead works when it's said for tons and tons of souls such as the Novena of Masses that I tend to get emails for vs. a mass for one or a few people? I've donated a few times, but was just curious. 

https://www.novenamasses.org
(10-26-2018, 02:33 PM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]Anyone know if there's anything that says how the benefits of masses said for oneself/others/the dead works when it's said for tons and tons of souls such as the Novena of Masses that I tend to get emails for vs. a mass for one or a few people? I've donated a few times, but was just curious. 

https://www.novenamasses.org

The general understanding is that there are many different fruits of the Mass : general fruits, special/ministerial fruits, and most special/personal fruits.

The former are the fruits that are given to the Church, society and the faithful from the very fact that a Mass has been celebrated. These fruits can be divided among many individuals without lessening their effect, since they actually are given to the Church.

The special fruits or ministerial fruits are the intentions for which the priest is offering the Mass. Most theologians argue that the share of these is probably lessened if shared among many, but this is not certain.

The most special/personal fruits are those that accrue to the priest, or people who are specially connected to the Mass, like the faithful attending, servers, etc. These fruits can probably not be transferred, since they belong to one by the very fact of being connected to the Mass and others are not connected in the way the person receiving these fruits are. The more intimately one shares in the Mass, the more fruit. The number of people sharing does not diminish this fruit.

So the question on the Novena Masses is whether these are Masses where the ministerial fruits are applied, or merely some kind of personal or general fruit.

If you offer a sum of money in stipends to a priest for an intention and for 9 consecutive Masses, then the number of people on the list probably decreases the fruit each receives, but also the main fruit of the Mass is being applied to them.

If it is a small contribution where a list of names of many will be placed on the altar (like is done for All Souls Day Novenas) then this would be coming from the personal fruits which accrue to the persons who are connected to the Mass but not part of the main intention, their share is much smaller than if the Mass were offered for them, but is not diminished by the number of persons associated.