Do you want to make a real difference in the world, in your life, and be a super-hero “force for good” this week? You can do it, in spades. And it’s not difficult!
As a practicing Catholic, you can gain special indulgences for the faithful departed any time, but especially during the first eight days of November.
The latest edition of the Manual of Indulgences explains as follows:
A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who,
1. on any and each day from November 1 to 8, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed;
2. on All Souls’ Day (or, according to the judgment of the ordinary, on the Sunday preceding or following it, or on the solemnity of All Saints), devoutly visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed.
Catholics can also gain a partial indulgence throughout the rest of the year:
2. A partial indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who
1. devoutly visit a cemetery and at least mentally pray for the dead;
2. devoutly recite lauds or vespers from the Office of the Dead or the prayer Eternal rest
The “Eternal rest” prayer, or “Requiem aeternam” is:
“Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace..”
The conditions for gaining an indulgence are as follows:
- Must be baptized and in a state of grace while doing the work
- Make a Sacramental Confession within 20 days
- Receive Holy Communion
- Pray for the Pope’s intentions
- Have no attachment to sin, not even to venial sin (it is sufficient that one seriously resolves to love God and reject sin)
Also note that:
- Indulgences can only be applied to the one doing the work, or to the dead
- Only one plenary indulgence per day can be earned, except at the hour of one’s own death
- Several partial indulgences can be earned during the same day
- If only part of a work associated with a Plenary Indulgence is completed, a Partial Indulgence is obtained
- For an indulgence attached to a particular day requiring a church visit, the day begins at noon the day before, and ends at midnight.
The Manual of Indulgences — issued in 1999 by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the fourth and latest edition of the now outdated Enchiridion Indulgentiarum: Normae et Concessiones (Enchiridion of Indulgences, originally issued in 1968)
- Everything you need to know about Indulgences and Purgatory – Catholic Business Journal, including references to Vatican documents