Every November, the Church gives the faithful the opportunity to offer a plenary indulgence for the souls in purgatory.

This means we can release souls from their temporal punishment in purgatory so they can immediately go to heaven!

You can offer one year-round, but the Church recognizes this specific plenary indulgence from Nov. 1-8. This method is a partial indulgence any other time during the year.

It is possible for the person offering the indulgence to release one soul from purgatory per day during this time period.

Steps to Obtain a Plenary Indulgence for Souls in Purgatory:

1. Pray at a cemetery

It doesn’t matter which cemetery, as long as you pray at one. Some suggested prayers are the Prayer of St. Gertrude or the Eternal Rest prayer.

2. Visit a Church on All Souls' Day (Nov. 2)

According to The Manual of Indulgences, fourth edition, 1999, "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."

3. Go to Confession

Receive the sacrament of confession.

In order for one to obtain a plenary indulgence, whether it be for the poor souls or for oneself, the person working to obtain it must be detached from all sin. If the soul is not detached, a partial indulgence will be applied.

(You only have to go to confession once during this time period)

4. Receive Holy Communion

Simple as that! (Just please do it in the state of grace!😉)

5. Pray for the Pope

The Church suggests praying one "Our Father" and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father.

Additional Requirements for Indulgences

The Church asks that if possible, “the sacramental Confession, and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed.”

However, since this is not always possible, one must perform the above within approximately 20 days before or after praying at a cemetery.

If you wish to gain more than one plenary indulgence for the poor souls in purgatory, you must receive communion, visit a cemetery, and pray for the pope each time you wish to grant the plenary indulgence. This must take place between Nov. 1-8. Only one confession is required for all indulgences, as long as the other requirements are fulfilled.

Click here to learn more about indulgences.

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