METROPOLITAN ARCHEPARCHY OF PHILADELPHIA
810 North Franklin Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123-2005
Phone (215) 627-0143 Fax (215) 627-0377
No. 439/2020 CH
GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST!
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I would like to take this opportunity to explain and clarify the custom and order of celebrating Divine Liturgies upon requests of the faithful, and about donations for baptisms, weddings, funerals and other services.
Canon 715, #1, of Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches, says, "It is permissible for the priests to receive offerings for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the intentions which the Christian faithful make according to the approved custom of the Church.” As stated in the letter of Metropolitan-emeritus Stefan Soroka in 2003, the usual offering is $10. It is a free will offering and can be smaller or greater as a petitioner wishes.
All requests for Liturgy intentions should be recorded in the parish intentions Register, where petitioner’s name, date of submitting request, intention (for what or whom the Liturgy is to be celebrated), date of the celebrated Liturgy and priest’s name have to be written (Pastoral Guide, art. 289-290).
In scheduling services, one cannot schedule more than one intention (request) per Liturgy. If there is a need to include more than one intention for a just reason, a pastor can do so under two conditions. First, all petitioners must be informed about combined intentions and agree to it. Second, a priest may keep only one donation (stipend) for all intentions he celebrated, and the remainder should be forwarded to the chancery, where it is deposited into priest support fund (Pastoral Guide, art. 284-285).
Also, in case of the celebration of baptisms, funerals, weddings and other services, there are no set fees or pricelist. All donations are only free will offerings, that is, the faithful decides whether one wants to offer and, if so, how much the offering will be. Please remember that if the faithful wish to give a donation to the priest, it will be his. If the faithful want to make a donation to the parish, they need to indicate it clearly and the offering must be deposited into the parish account. In case an offering is made without indications, then the offering may be split equally between priest and parish, or be fully deposited into parish account.
Please inform the faithful of any pending or occurred baptisms, weddings and funerals, and post marriage banns three times before the wedding in your parish bulletins.
May the Lord God bless you and your families!
Remaining Yours, in Christ Jesus,
Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia