Holy Souls Crusade
" It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins" (2 Mac 12:46)
Issued by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, 1968
Originally published by Liberia Editrice Vatican,
This is a digest of the works and prayers listed in the Enchiridion of Indulgences. The Enchiridion recites each indulgenced prayer in full. Because most are recognizable they will only be listed by name. The un- translated Enchiridion lists each work and prayer in alphabetical order by their Latin names. The order shall remain the same in this listing. The descriptions of the works and details regarding obtaining the indulgence will be edited and abreviated in this listing. The following is not represented to be an exact reprint of the Enchiridion but an accurate digest of what constitutes an approved indulgenced work by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary.
In all but the plenary indulgence of In Articulo Mortis, at the moment of death, a plenary indulgence mentioned below MUST be accompanied by the three prerequisites of a plenary indulgence.
1. Sacramental Confession,
Thus the formula for obtaining a plenary indulgence are the three constants mentioned above plus any one of the variable works mentioned below as being worthy of a plenary indulgence.
1. Direct, we beg you, O Lord.(Prayer from Roman Ritual) Partial indulgence.
2. Acts of the Theological Virtues and of Contrition. A partial indulgence is granted to those who devoutly recite, according to any legitimate formula, the acts of faith, hope, charity, and contrition.
3. ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who visit the Most Blessed Sacrament for at least one half hour (together with the three prerequisites (constants) of a plenary indulgence. A partial indulgence is granted to those who visit and adore the Most Blessed Sacrament without the three constants or for any period less than one half hour.
4. Hidden God (Adoro te devote) -- hymn, partial indulgence.
5. We have come (Adsumus) -- prayer, partial indulgence.
6. To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph) --- prayer, partial indulgence.
7. We Give You Thanks ---- prayer from Roman Breviary, partial indulgence
8. Angel Of God --- prayer, partial indulgence.
9. The Angel Of The Lord --- prayer, partial indulgence.
10. Soul of Christ (Anima Christi) --- prayer, partial indulgence.
11. Visit to the Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome. A PLENARY INDULGENCE
to those who devoutly visit one of the Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome and
recite one Our Father and the Creed,
12. PAPAL BLESSING. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who "piously and devoutly" receive, even by radio, the Blessing of the Pope when imparted to Rome and the world (Urbi et Orbi). (3 constants.)
13. Visit to a Cemetery. Only applicable to the souls in Purgatory when one devoutly visits and prays for the departed. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is bestowed for this work each day between November 1 and November 8.
14. Visit to a "Catacomb" (early Christian cemetery.) Partial indulgence.
15. Act of spiritual Communion according to any pious formula -- partial indulgence.
16. Recitation of the Apostles Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolian Creed -- partial indulgence.
17. ADORATION OF THE CROSS. A PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who in solemn liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist in at the adoration of the Cross and kiss it.
18. Office of the dead. A partial indulgence to those who devoutly recite Lauds or Vespers of the Office of the Dead.
19. "Out of the Depths" (De profundis). Psalm 129. Partial indulgence to those who recite.
20. Christian Doctrine. Partial indulgence to those who take part in teaching or learning christian doctrine.
21. "Lord God Almighty." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
22. "Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus." "Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech you to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity your five wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David, your prophet, said of you, my good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones." PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited on a Friday in Lent and Passiontide, when recited after Communion before an image of Christ crucified. On any other day the indulgence is partial.
23. Eucharistic Congress. PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who devoutly participate in the customary solemn eucharistic rite at the close of a Eucharistic Congress.
24. "Hear Us" (Roman Ritual) -- partial indulgence.
25. RETREAT. (Exercitia spiritualia). PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who spend at least three (3) whole days in the spiritual excercises of a retreat.
26. "Most sweet Jesus --Act of Reparation" PLENARY INDULGENCE when this prayer is publicly recited on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Otherwise the indulgence is partial.
27. "Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer -- Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King." PLENARY INDULGENCE when this prayer is publicly recited on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King. Otherwise the indulgence is partial.
28. The Moment of Death (In articulo mortis). PLENARY INDULGENCE. EXCEPTION TO THE THREE CONSTANTS. (Verbatim recitation of the grant follows:) "To the faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary indulgence (see can. 468, Sec.2 of Code of Canon Law), Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. The use of a crucifix or a cross to gain this indulgence is praiseworthy." The condition: 'provided they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime' supplies in such cases for the three usual conditions required for the gaining of a plenary indulgence." The plenary indulgence at the point of death can be acquired by the faithful, even if they have already obtained another plenary indulgence on the same day."
29. Litanies. Partial indulgence to those who recite the following litanies: the litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus; The litany of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; The litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; The litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary; The litany of St. Joseph; and the litany of All Saints.
30. "The Magnificat". Partial indulgence.
31. "Mary, Mother of Grace." (Roman Ritual) Partial indulgence.
32. "The Memorare." (Remember, O Most gracious Virgin Mary.) Partial Indulgence.
33. "The Miserere" (Have mercy of me.) Psalm 50. Partial indulgence.
34. Novena Devotions. Partial indulgence to those who participate in a public novena before the feast of Christmas or Pentecost, or the Immaculate Conception.
35. Use of Articles of Devotion. (Verbatim follows:) "The faithful, who devoutly use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross, rosary, scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, obtain a partial indulgence. "But if the article of devotion has been blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff or by any Bishop, the faithful, using it, can also gain a PLENARY INDULGENCE on the feast of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, provided they also make a profession of faith according to any legitimate formula."
36. Little Offices. The following Little Offices are each enriched with a partial indulgence: the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph.
37. Prayer for Sacerdotal or Religious Vocations. Partial indulgence is granted to those who recite a prayer approved by ecclesiastical Authority for the above intention.
38. Mental Prayer. Partial indulgence to those who spend some time in pious mental prayer.
39. "Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff" (Roman Breviary) Partial Indulgence.
40. "O Sacred Banquet" (Roman Breviary) Partial indulgence.
41. Assistance as Sacred Preaching. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who attend a Mission, hear some of the sermons and are present for the solemn close of the Mission. A partial indulgence is granted to those who assist with devotion and attention at the sacred preaching of the Word of God.
42. FIRST COMMUNION. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who receive Communion for the first time or to those who ASSIST at the sacred ceremonies of a First Communion.
43. First Mass of a Newly Ordained Priest. PLENARY INDULGENCE granted to the priest and to the faithful who devoutly assist at the same Mass.
44. "Prayer for Unity of the Church." Partial indulgence.
45. Monthly Recollection. Partial indulgence to those who take part in a monthly retreat.
46. "Eternal Rest." A partial indulgence only to the souls in purgatory. "Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace."
47. "May it Please you, O Lord." Partial indulgence. "May it please you, O Lord, to reward with eternal life all those who do good to us for your Name's sake. Amen."
48. RECITATION OF THE MARIAN ROSARY. (The following is verbatim.) "A
PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted, if the Rosary is recited IN A CHURCH OR
PUBLIC ORATORY OR IN A FAMILY GROUP, A RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR PIOUS ASSOCIATION;
a partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances. "Now the Rosary
is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of
'Hail Marys' with an 'Our Father' before each decade, and in which the
recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular
mystery of our Redemption. "The name 'Rosary,' however, is commonly used
in reference to only a third of the fifteen decades. "The gaining of the
plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms: "
49. Jubilees of Sacerdotal Ordination. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to a priest on the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of his ordination when he renews before God his resolve to faithfully fulfill the duties of his vocation. If the priest celebrates a jubilee Mass, the faithful who assist at it can acquire a Plenary Indulgence.
50. READING OF SACRED SCRIPTURE. While a partial indulgence is granted to those who read from Sacred Scripture with the veneration which the divine word is due, a PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who read for at least one half an hour.
51. "Hail Holy Queen." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
52. "Holy Mary, help the helpless." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
53. "Holy Apostles Peter and Paul." (Roman Missal.) Partial indulgence.
54. Veneration of the Saints. Partial indulgence granted to those who on the feast of any Saint recite in his honor the oration of the Missal or any other approved by legitimate Authority.
55. Sign of the Cross. Partial indulgence.
56. A Visit to the Stational Churches of Rome. A partial indulgence is granted to those who on the day indicated in the Roman Missal devoutly visit the stational church in Rome named for that day' but if they also assist at the sacred functions celebrated in the morning or evening, a PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted.
57. "We fly to your Patronage." Partial indulgence.
58. Diocesan Synod. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who during the time of a diocesan Synod, devoutly visit the church in which it is being held and there recite one Our Father and the Creed.
59. "Down in Adoration Falling" (Tantum ergo) (Roman Breviary) PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited on Holy Thursday and the feast of Corpus Christi. Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted for recitation.
60. The Te Deum. PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited publicly on the last day of the year. Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite the Te Deum in thanksgiving.
61. "Come, Holy Spirit, Creator Blest." PLENARY INDULGENCE if recited on the first of January or on the feast of the Pentecost. Otherwise, a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite it.
62. "Come, Holy Spirit" Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. (Roman Missal) Partial indulgence.
63. EXERCISE OF THE WAY OF THE CROSS. PLENARY INDULGENCE. A Plenary
indulgence is granted to those who piously make the Way of the Cross. The
gaining of the indulgence is regulated by the following rules:
64. "Visit, we beg you, O Lord." (Roman Breviary) Partial Indulgence.
65. Visit to the Parochial Church. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who devoutly visit the parochial church either on its titular feast or on the 2nd of August when the indulgence of the "Portiuncula" occurs. In visiting the church IT IS REQUIRED that one Our Father and the Creed be recited. Both indulgences can be acquired either on the day designated above or on some other day designated by the Ordinary (bishop) for the benefit of the faithful. The same indulgences apply to the Cathedral church and, where there is one, to a Co-Cathedral church, even if they are not parochial churches; they apply to quasi-parochial churches also.
66. Visit to a Church or an Altar on the day of its consecration. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who visit a church or an altar on the day itself of its consecration, and there recite on Our Father and the Creed.
67. Visit to a Church or Oratory on All Souls Day. PLENARY INDULGENCE. A plenary indulgence, applicable ONLY to the souls in purgatory, may be obtained by those who, on All Souls Day, piously visit a church, public oratory, or -for those entitled to use it, a semi public oratory. It may be acquired either on the day designated as All Souls Day or, with the consent of the bishop, on the preceding or following Sunday or the feast of All Saints. On visiting the church or oratory it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.
68. Visit to a Church or Oratory of Religious on the Feast of the Holy Founder. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who piously visit a church or oratory of a religious order on the feastday of its canonized founder, and there recite one Our Father and the Creed.
69. Pastoral Visitation. Partial indulgence to those who visit a church during the time that a pastoral visitation is being held. But a PLENARY INDULGENCE, to be gained only once during the visitation, is granted if during the time of the visitation they assist at a sacred function at which the Visitator presides.
70. Renewal of Baptismal Promises. A partial indulgence is granted
to those who renew their baptismal promises according to any formula in
use; but a PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted if this is done in celebration
of the Paschal Vigil or on the anniversary of one's baptism.
Fr. McNamara and ZENIT have kindly given us permission to use the Indulgences article published in February 2005. It is below in its entirety and helps explain how we can gain indulgences for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
The whole issue of gaining partial or plenary indulgences can be confusing. When 2004-2005 was dedicated as the Year of the Eucharist, some people had some questions about indulgences that could be gained during this special year. Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, responds to various liturgical questions for ZENIT. (See below for more information.)
Here is a question and Fr. McNamara's extensive response to the whole area of indulgences, of particular interest regarding indulgences which can be gained for the Holy Souls in Purgatory:
"Q: Is the special Year-of-the-Eucharist indulgence granted only for praying one of the offices of the Liturgy of the Hours, or both? The wording was not clear. The announcement also mentioned that the indulgence would be granted "each and every time they recite" the offices. Can one now receive two plenary indulgences on the same day? -- B.P.M., New York
A: The new indulgence (its decree was published Jan. 14) may be obtained in two ways. First, "each time the faithful participate attentively and piously in a sacred function or a devotional exercise undertaken in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed or conserved in the tabernacle."
Second, it is granted "to the clergy, to members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, and to other faithful who are by law obliged to recite the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as to those who customarily recite the Divine Office out of pure devotion, each and every time they recite -- at the end of the day, in company or private -- vespers and night prayers before the Lord present in the tabernacle."
This latter norm created some confusion as even the Latin text was not perfectly clear.
One of the advantages of living in Rome is that one can pick up a phone and ask for clarifications. This process resolved several doubts.
One regarded the expressions "at the end of the day." Did this mean that vespers (Evening Prayer) and Night Prayer had to be prayed together one after the other? Another was the doubt highlighted by our reader regarding two plenary indulgences.
The reply was that although both offices must be prayed before the Blessed Sacrament in order to gain the plenary indulgence, they may be prayed at different moments of the evening.
With this point clear, the other followed naturally: We are dealing with a single plenary indulgence that requires two distinct moments of prayer. Hence, the norm that one may obtain only one plenary indulgence a day, applicable to oneself or to a soul in purgatory, remains in force.
No. 1471 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."
No. 1479 adds: "Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishment due for their sins may be remitted."
The decree reminds the faithful that to obtain a plenary indulgence it is necessary to observe the "usual conditions":
1. Sacramental confession, usually within a week before or after obtaining the indulgence. One sacramental confession is sufficient for several indulgences.
2. Eucharistic Communion. Unlike confession, only one indulgence may be obtained for each Communion. Although this Communion may be fulfilled several days before or after obtaining the indulgence, it is preferable that this condition be fulfilled the same day. Thus, those who practice regular confession and daily Mass may obtain a plenary indulgence practically every day.
3. Prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Like Communion, prayer for the Pope's intentions must be recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence. Although there are no prescribed prayers the condition is satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary.
4. Having the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin. This is the most difficult condition as even attachment to venial sin precludes the possibility of obtaining the indulgence. However, note that the condition is not freedom from all venial sin, but from attachment to sin; that is, that there is no sin which the soul is unwilling to renounce.
Apart from the above, here are some of the principal concessions of plenary indulgences within reach of most Catholics.
1. Remain in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least half an hour.
2. The participation in the Adoration of the Cross, on Good Friday.
3. Spiritual exercises of at least three days.
4. Those who make their first Communion or who assist at another's first Communion.
5. Praying at least five decades of the rosary in a church or chapel, or else in family, a religious community or a pious association. The conditions are that the five decades be prayed without interruption; meditation on the mysteries must be added to the vocal recitation; and in public recitation the mysteries must be announced according to approved local custom.
6. Celebrating or assisting at a priest's first solemn Mass, or at his 25th, 50th or 60th anniversary Mass. The priest should also renew before God his proposal to faithfully fulfill the obligations of his vocation.
7. Visiting a church or altar on the day of its dedication and praying an Our Father and a Creed.
8. Renewing one's baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil or on the anniversary of one's baptism.
9. Reading sacred Scripture as spiritual reading with the devotion due to Godís Word for at least a half-hour.
10. Making the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross. This must be done at legitimately erected stations, which require 14 crosses to which other images or statues may be added.
The Way of the Cross usually consists of 14 sacred readings, to which some vocal prayers may be added.
However, to fulfill the pious exercise it is enough to meditate on the Lord's passion and death, with no need to make a particular consideration regarding each individual station. Thus, one may also meditate on episodes of the Passion that differ from the traditional 14 stations.
It is also necessary to move from one station to the next, although, if during a public celebration the whole group cannot easily move, it is sufficient that the person who guides the stations move from one station to the next.
If someone is legitimately impeded from doing the stations, he or she may obtain the same indulgence through pious reading and meditation on the Lord's passion and death for about 15 minutes or so.
11. Devoutly receiving a papal blessing including those imparted "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world) such as is customary at Easter and Christmas, and received through live transmission by radio, television or Internet.
The local bishop may also impart the apostolic blessing three times a year on dates of their choosing, at the end of a specially solemn Mass.
12. Each Friday of Lent a plenary indulgence is granted to those who piously recite the prayer "Look down Upon Me, Good and Gentle Jesus" after Communion, before an image of Christ crucified. This prayer is among those offered in the missal for thanksgiving after Communion.
13. "To the faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary indulgence, Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. The use of a crucifix or a cross to gain this indulgence is praiseworthy.
"The condition, provided they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime, supplies in such cases for the three usual conditions required for the gaining of a plenary indulgence.
"The plenary indulgence at the point of death can be acquired by the faithful, even if they have already obtained another plenary indulgence on the same day." (Enchiridion of Indulgences)
Apart from the plenary indulgences, Catholics do well to be aware that
most of their habitual prayers, sacrifices and habitual service to others,
from the sign of the cross to the Hail Mary, are endowed with partial indulgences
which increase their weight before God and give them an opportunity to
exercise selfless charity in offering their prayers in benefit of the souls
-- Activities of John Paul II, such as his travels, documents and audiences
-- The Vatican, including diplomatic activity, humanitarian efforts, and profiles of Church leaders
-- Interviews with and features about leading lay Catholics, including researchers, politicians, writers and entertainers
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