November 2 is All Souls Day, the day on which the Roman Catholic Church commemorates all of those who have died and are now in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.A Memento Mori marks a tomb in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. (Photo © Scott P. Richert) At one time, Catholics flocked to their churches on All Souls Day, to offer prayers in memory of their friends and loved ones. These days, however, most All Souls Day Masses are poorly attended.
Since praying for the dead is our Christian duty, it’s sad to see how little attention is paid to All Souls Day. That’s especially true since there is a special plenary indulgence that can be gained for the souls in Purgatory on All Souls Day. A plenary indulgence removes all temporal punishment for sin–and so, in effect, releases a soul from Purgatory.
All you have to do is visit a church, recite one Our Father and the Creed, receive Communion, and pray one additional Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The final requirement is that you take part in the Sacrament of Confession, but you can do that up to seven days before or afterward. Since most Catholic parishes offer Confession on Saturday, you can go to Confession this Saturday or next, and then fulfill the rest of the requirements on All Souls Day itself.
The All Souls Day indulgence is a wonderful way to show your love for a friend or family member who has died. In less than an hour on All Souls Day, you can release a soul from Purgatory. Why not gain the indulgence for your loved one?
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