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Friday, November 2, 2012

All Souls Day: Visit a Cemetery and Pray for the Dead

Today is All Souls Day when Catholics are encourage to pray for the dead. This is the one day of the year that one can gain a plenary indulgence only for someone else, i.e., a member of the Church Suffering in Purgatory. Anyone who visits a cemetery and prays for the dead there and performs the usual requirements (goes to mass on the day of the indulgence and confession within a week before or after, prays for the intentions of our Holy Father, and is detached from sin) can gain full remission of sins for someone in Purgatory. Wouldn't it be wonderful on Judgment Day to have numerous souls greeting you with joy and thanksgiving because you shortened their time of suffering? And wouldn't it be wonderful to think of those souls praying for you when you are in need?

No good deed, after all, will go unrewarded. And the best rewards are not tangible here on earth; they are the prayers and sacrifices that bring us closer to God.

So if you haven't visited a cemetery yet today, it's not too late. If you didn't go to Mass this morning, you can still gain this indulgence between All saints day and the octave, every day in fact. So take advantage of these days to pray for your loved ones who have gone before you in the sign of faith. And may God give us all the grace of final perseverance.

Correction: A partial indulgence is gained for visiting a cemetery and devoutly praying for the dead. To gain a plenary indulgence it's necessary to visit a cemetery each day within the octave of All Saints. If you are like me and consider cemeteries holy ground, it is an easy daily work to perform.


Jeanne Holler said...

Let me get this straight :
You have to go to a Cemetery to gain the plenary indulgence, correct ?

Not just go to Holy Mass and pray for those in purgatory ?

Thanks so much!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

There is also a plenary indulgence attached to visiting a church or oratory on All Souls Day.

Here's more on indulgences:

susan said...

my understanding is that you gain a plenary indulgence EACH day of the 8 day cemetary prayer-visit.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

That's what I thought, Susan, but I couldn't find it. A priest friend I was talking to yesterday, though, said God will not be outdone in generosity. That he isn't measuring little bits like a miser; He wants to pour out His grace on us in abundance. No doubt He will give us all more than we deserve and every day at the end of the Morning Offering I pray for all "the graces of the works and prayers I do today." Imagine if we could really see how generous God is to us!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Hee's what Catholic Culture says which confirms that a partial indulgence applies for visiting a cemetery, but a plenary for going every day from Nov. 1-8.