Tag Archives: All Souls

Pray for the Souls in purgatory

The Catholic Church has a special concern for those who died and have not entered into the Beatific Vision.

Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for all sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

St Gertrude the Great
14th Century Benedictine nun and abbess

All Souls Indulgence

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let the radiance of your light shine forever upon them (cf. 2 Es 2:35).

To you our praise is due in Zion, O God.
To you we pay our vows, you who hear our prayer; to you all flesh will come (Ps 64:2-3).

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (November 2 )

– Piously visit a church to pray for the faithful departed

– Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church

– Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope

– Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day)

– Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) All Souls Day

– that one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence from November 1 to 8

– Devoutly visit a cemetery and pray for the dead.

– Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope

– Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day)

– Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) All Souls Day

– that one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

The “technical” things on Indulgences (so that we don’t fall into error)…from the Handbook of Indulgences, Norms:

“1. An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose culpable element has already been taken away. The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observe the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively distributes and applies the treasury of the expiatory works of Christ and the Saints.”

“22. The prescribed work for gaining a plenary indulgence attached to a church or oratory is a devout visit there, which includes the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed (Pater Noster and Credo), unless otherwise stated in a specific grant.”

“23. 1. Besides the exclusion of all attachment to sin, even venial sin, the requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.

  1. Several Plenary Indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single Sacramental Confession; only one may be gained, however, on the basis of a single Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
  2. The three conditions may be carried out several days preceding or following performance of the prescribed work. But it is more fitting that the Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the day the work is performed.
  3. If a person is not fully disposed or if the prescribed work and the three mentioned conditions are not fulfilled, the Indulgence will only be partial …”
  4. The condition requiring prayer for the Pope’s intentions is satisfied by reciting once the Our Father and Hail Mary for his intentions (Pater Noster and Ave Maria); nevertheless all the faithful have the option of reciting any other prayer suited to their own piety and devotion.”

From the Handbook of Indulgences, Grants

  1. Visiting a Church or an Oratory on All Souls Day
    A Plenary Indulgence, which is applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on (November 2nd,) All Souls Day.13. Visiting a cemetery
    An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the dead, This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from November 1 through November 8 and can be granted on each one of these days. On the other days of the year this indulgence is a partial one.

Saint Odilo of Cluny

odiloSaint Odilo of Cluny (962-1049) is remembered for his intense Benedictine life at Cluny and as the 5th abbot of Cluny he oversaw the expansion of the Cluniac reform but he’s best remembered for his concern for he poor souls in purgatory. There is some debate if he was the 5th or the 3rd abbot of Cluny. However, Odilo’s importance lies in the fact that he instituted the commemoration of All Souls (c. 1030) as a yearly liturgical remembrance. The Church from the earliest days prayed for the dead with some regularity. Theologically he had a significant interest in the Incarnation.

Hence two things of Christian life had Saint Odilo’s attention: the care of the poor and the souls of the dead. Of the latter concern also impacted the prior –he decreed that Mass be offered and a monetary offering be made for the poor. He made almsgiving connect with fasting and prayer for the dead: it is not only a lenten piece of Christian spirituality but something that gives a renewed flavor to living the gospel.  Odilo instructed that the offering of food given to twelve poor people (as much food as the monks would eat at the main meal).

Regarding the monastic life, Abbot Odilo showed great solicitude for the observance of the monastic life by visiting the monasteries under his guidance on a regular basis. The monasteries following the Rule of Cluny really formed these Benedictines into an “order” because of a centralized authority system and the appointment of superiors in the priories (versus the typical election of a superior found in Benedictinism). Thus, he ensured that decadence that has a habit of creeping into a monk’s life was averted.

Saint Odilo has several possible dates for his liturgical memorial: January 1, 2, or 3; 19 at Cluny; April 29 as part of the feast of the Seven Abbots of Cluny and February 6 in Switzerland. Take your pick. But I think, generally, Odilo’s liturgical memorial is bridged with under the title of “Abbots of Cluny” on April 29.

The antiphon “Odilo showed wondrously what was the charity of his heart, who, while pitying sufferings of the faithful departed, yearly decreased them by a sweet refreshment, alleluia.”

All Souls

All SoulsThe Novus Ordo liturgy observed All Souls day yesterday; today the Extraordinary Form observed the commemoration today.

“All Souls Day focuses our attention on the process of purgation in preparation for the soul’s entrance into the presence of God. Not many experience a perfectly prepared entrance into heaven. The journey of life can be messy. A period of cleansing is not be be unexpected. The Church has called this process Purgatory. Since there is no time in eternity the period of purgation is a mystery. This image shows the loving mercy of God being ministered to the souls in Purgatory by an angel. We pray for all those who have died especially in the past year that they may soon see the Face of God.” (Dom J. King, OSB)

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord…

All Souls Day and Purgatory

November is the month dedicated to praying for the Souls in Purgatory. A venerable and fitting custom of prayer and sacrifice for those of our families and friends who died, and those unknown to us personally. Don’t let these days go by without offering a prayer for the Souls in Purgatory, and visiting the cemetery.

The All Souls Indulgence is noted here.

Today is a fitting day to recall what the Catholic teaching of purgatory is: here, here and here. Plus, “Is Purgatory necessary?” may be helpful.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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