HOW TO EARN PLENARY INDULGENCES FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN NOVEMBER:
Every year, from November 1-8, the Church grants a plenary indulgence that can be applied only to the souls in purgatory. We can receive one indulgence each of the eight days to anyone in purgatory (many people give them to Mary to hand out as she sees fit).
Every day, do this:
- Visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed. Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be if you can't think of anything else. Those are the best prayers around!! Or say: “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.”
- On All Souls’ Day (this Saturday) visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Apostles Creed.
if you can’t do that, get a partial indulgence by doing this:
- A partial indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who,
- devoutly visit a cemetery and at least mentally pray for the dead;
- devoutly recite lauds or vespers from the Office of the Dead or the prayer Requiem aeternam (Eternal rest).
*For more, see Here’s How You Can Help the Holy Souls in Purgatory from the NC Register.
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF INDULGENCES: PLENARY AND PARTIAL.
A Partial Indulgence remits part of the temporal punishment due; a Plenary Indulgence remits all of it.
In order to obtain an Indulgence, we MUST do the following things:
- DESIRE to obtain the Indulgence: I usually just say before I begin, "Jesus, I'm doing this to obtain a Plenary Indulgence." You can also pray this morning prayer and it should cover you for the day:
O my God, in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary (kiss your scapular), I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world, joining with it the offering of my every thought, word, and action of this day. O my Jesus, I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can and I offer them, together with myself, to Mary Immaculate, that she may best apply them in the interests of Thy Most Sacred Heart. Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Amen.
- CONFESS. You have to go to confession "several" days before or after you perform the indulgenced act. Traditionally, this was 8-10 days, although in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, the amount of days was increased to 20, and that decision remains intact. Note: You must be in a state of grace to obtain a plenary indulgence. This means, at the time you perform the indulgenced act, you must be free from all attachment to sin. You can't be mad at people, hold grudges, hate anyone, etc. Confess it all and let it go!
- COMMUNION. Receive Holy Communion. During Mass is preferable, although otherwise is allowed. The day of the indulgenced act is also preferred, but not required.
- PAPAL INTENTIONS. You must pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. This is not praying for the Pope, himself, but for his intentions, which he releases each month. You don't need to know what they are--God knows. An Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be suffice.
- We can only obtain one plenary indulgence a day. EXCEPT on the day we die, when we can get two.
- We can only offer indulgences for our own sins or for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. (See below about the Heroic Act of Charity.)
- If you strive to gain a Plenary Indulgence, but fail to fulfill all the requirements, the indulgence will be only partial.
- For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except detachment from even venial sin).