Appendix on Indulgenced Acts for the Faithful Departed, From the fourth edition of the Enchiridion of Indulgences, 1999:
A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who,
- On any and each day from November 1 to 8, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed;
- 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.
A partial indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who,
- devoutly visit a cemetery and at least mentally pray for the dead;
- devoutly recite lauds or vespers from the Office of the Dead or the prayer Requiem aeternam (Eternal rest).
Incorporating Acts for Indulgences Through November and the Year:
A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. There are a few cemeteries that have car paths, allowing one to "visit" even if you stay in the car. The "Eternal Rest" prayer gains a partial indulgence and can be prayed all year. Passing a cemetery and praying the "Eternal Rest" can help out the souls in need.
Requiem aeternam dona ei (eis), Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei (eis).
Requiescat (-ant) in pace Amen.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
How to Gain an Indulgence:
The following norms are taken from the Apostolic Constitution of Pope St. Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 1967, the fourth edition of the Enchiridion of Indulgences, 1968, 1999, the Jubilee Apostolic Penitentiary, The Gift of the Indulgence, 2000 and the Norm of Confession for Gaining a Plenary Indulgence Apostolic Penitentiary, 2005.
An indulgence is "the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned, which the follower of Christ with the proper dispositions and under certain determined conditions acquires through the intervention of the Church which, as minister of the Redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of the satisfaction won by Christ and the saints. An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin" (Indulgentiarum Doctrina, n.1-2).
To obtain this remission there are proper dispositions and certain conditions predetermined by the Church that must be met. Firstly, one must have the intention to gain the indulgence, and perform the works at the time and in the manner prescribed.
To gain a Plenary Indulgence (only one per day), the faithful must be in the state of grace and the following conditions must accompany the prescribed act:
- have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
- receive the sacrament of confession
- 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)
- and recite prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father (one Our Father and one Hail Mary is suggested as a minimum, but any other additional prayers may be added).
All attachment to sin, even venial sin, must be absent. If some of the above conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence becomes partial.
More details about the timing of these requirements:
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.