COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED.
ALL SOULS’ DAY.
This month of November, and in particular, today, All Souls’ day, we dedicate our prayers to help our faithful departed brothers and sisters in Purgatory, still purifying themselves from the remains of sin (TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT). Our bonds with them, especially with our deceased relatives and friends, do not end with their death.
The theological basis for the commemoration of all the faithful departed or All Souls’ Day is the doctrine that the souls which, on departing from the body, are not perfectly cleansed from venial sins, or have not fully atoned for past transgressions, are debarred from the Beatific Vision, and that the faithful on earth can help them by prayers, almsgiving, and especially by the sacrifice of the Mass. In the early days of Christianity the names of the departed brethren were entered in the diptychs or registry of those ‘prayed for.’ St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) ordered the commemoration of all the faithful departed to be held annually in the monasteries of his congregation. Thence it spread among the other congregations and Christianity.
Our Mother Church teaches us to live the communion of saints by praying for each other, whether alive or deceased, in particular for the faithful departed who are in purgatory At the same time, those who have already gone to heaven are praying and interceding for us who are still in pilgrimage here on earth.
As the Compendium of the Catechism teaches in number 195, the term communion of saints refers to: “the communion between holy persons (sancti); that is, between those who by grace are united to the dead and risen Christ. Some are pilgrims on the earth; others, having passed from this life, are undergoing purification and are helped also by our prayers. Others already enjoy the glory of God and intercede for us. All of these together form in Christ one family, the Church, to the praise and glory of the Trinity.
The existence of purgatory -a Catholic dogma- has a Biblical basis. This is the reason why the Catholic Church encourages her faithful to pray for the dead. The Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 958 teaches:
Communion with the dead. “In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her suffrages for them.”500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 958
OUT OF LOVE, JUSTICE AND SOLIDARITY, we pray for the souls of the dead undergoing purification in purgatory so that God Almighty, in His merciful and compassionate love, may remit all the temporal punishment of their sins, and admit them into His Glorious Kingdom and enjoy forever His vision and company together with all the Angels and Saints.
We could help them by offering PRAYERS IN SUFFRAGE for them especially the HOLY MASS, the HOLY ROSARY, as well as with ALMSGIVING, WORKS OF PENANCE or sacrifices and acts or prayers which have INDULGENCES attached to them. There are many indulgences, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, that can be obtained during the month of November.
As St. John Paul II said: “We feel bound by charity to offer those brothers and sisters who have experienced the fragility proper to human existence the help of our vigilant prayer. May whatever residue of human weakness still remaining in them to delay their happy encounter with God be definitively wiped out.” (John Paul II, Address, 2 November 1982).
OUTLINE (click on the links)
An INDULGENCE is “the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned.”
- To obtain this remission there are proper dispositions and certain conditions predetermined by the Church that must be met by the faithful. The remission is acquired through the intervention of the Church, who has the power to loose and bind granted through Jesus Christ.
- It is partial if it removes only part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment.
- To be able to gain an indulgence, ONE MUST HAVE THE INTENTION TO GAIN THEM, and PERFORM THE WORKS AT THE TIME AND IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED.
The Apostolic Penitentiary reminds us:
“3.To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
— have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
— have sacramentally confessed their sins;
— receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
— pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that 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; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act.
Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth. “ (Apostolic Penitentiary, The Gift of Indulgence, Jan. 29, 2000)
With the above conditions considered, one can perform the indulgenced act for the souls in purgatory which may be one of the following:
UPDATED OCT. 27, 2021:
FOR NOVEMBER 2021 PLENARY INDULGENCES COULD BE GAINED FOR THE FAITHFUL DECEASED DURING THE ENTIRE MONTH OF NOVEMBER .
SEE THE INFOGRAPHIC BELOW. FOR FULL TEXT, CLICK HERE.
EVERY DAY DURING THE YEAR, A PLENARY INDULGENCE COULD ALSO BE GAINED AND APPLIED TO THE SOULS IN PURGATORY WITH THESE FOLLOWING ACTS OF PIETY:
- ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FOR 30 MINUTES (Manual of Indulgences, n. 7 § 1 1°);
- PRAYING THE HOLY ROSARY AS A FAMILY OR GROUP, OR IN A CHURCH OR PUBLIC ORATORY (Manual of Indulgences, n. 17 §1,1);
- PRAYING THE WAY OF THE CROSS (Manual of Indulgences, n. 13 §2).
Dear friends, let us help our faithful departed brothers and sisters reach heaven as soon as possible by living the communion of the saints, offering prayers in suffrage for them and gaining indulgences on their behalf.
Mother Mary, Help of Christians, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, we fly to your patronage to intercede for our faithful departed brethren so that they may soon enter into the eternal bliss contemplating the Most Blessed Trinity!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS.
In the years previous to the pandemic, indulgences for the month of November could be gained for the faithful departed as follows:
” 1. 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.
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.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.”
Manual of Indulgences, n. 29, §1-§2
SEE AS WELL: THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY: ON SIN AND TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/the-holy-souls-in-purgatory-1-on-sin-and-temporal-punishment/
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