Tuesday, 27 October 2020 06:06

Vatican extends time for plenary indulgences for All Souls' Day

Vatican has announced the extension of the plenary indulgences to avoid the influx of people in public places such as churches, cemeteries and columbaries.

According to the Catholic News Agency, last October 23, 2020, a decree was signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, stating that indulgences can be acquired for the whole month of November.

Indulgences are merits received through certain pious acts, which can help revoke temporal punishment caused by sin for those who have died.

Cardinal Piacenza said that the new provisions were made after the bishops’ request of the extension of plenary indulgence given the importance of the commemoration of the feasts of All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. He also mentioned that live-streamed Masses were beneficial for those individuals who cannot attend the liturgy physically.

“There is therefore a pursuit by the bishops to implement all possible solutions to bring people back to the Church, always respecting everything that needs to be done for the particular situation in which we unfortunately find ourselves,” said the Cardinal.

With the penitentiary’s new decree, individuals who cannot go outside may still receive indulgences, while others may attend mass in the Churches and visit their departed loved ones, following the implemented health protocols.

The decree also highlights the importance of the availability of the sacraments during the whole month of November.

“For an easier attainment of divine grace through pastoral charity, this penitentiary earnestly prays that all priests endowed with the appropriate faculties offer themselves with particular generosity to the celebration of the sacrament of Penance and to administering Holy Communion to the sick,” according to the decree.

Every November, Catholics have two traditional means of obtaining plenary indulgences for the souls: the faithful may receive full indulgence each day from November 1 to November 8 when they visit a cemetery to pray for the departed and fulfilled other conditions, and when they go to a church or an oratory to pray for the faithful departed on November 2, All Souls’ Day.

These plenary indulgences had been extended throughout November to avoid large gatherings in public places that may expose the faithful to the risk of COVID-19. The indulgences can thus be obtained on any day in November.

Those who cannot leave the house, on the other hand, including the elderly, the sick, the children, and others for serious reasons may receive indulgences by reciting prayers for the deceased in front of an image of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.

One also must fulfill certain conditions such as: having a spirit detached from sin; going to confession; receiving the Eucharist; praying for the pope’s intentions; and being united spiritually with all the faithful. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)


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