This post will be bumped annually during the All Saint day octave details below.
Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.
He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.
2 Maccabees 12:42-46
We interrupt our election coverage for something far more important, 8 chances to earn a Plenary Indulgence over the next 8 days.
During the entire year the church offers a partial indulgence applicable to either yourself, or to someone deceased, for the act of going to a cemetery and praying for the dead (even briefly).
However beginning today All Saints Day when we remember the heroic example of all the Saints in Heaven and ending November 8th said indulgence rather that being partial becomes a Plenary indulgence which provides full remission of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.
What’s special here is that you have the chance to earn said indulgence every single day over the next 8 provided that, in addition to the cemetery prayers and follow the following norms each day you attempt to earn said indulgence:
- 1. Offer a prayer for the intentions of the Pope.
- 2. Receive Holy Communion (The easiest way to receive is to go to Mass but it’s the reception of communion not the Mass that is required)
In addition you have to receive the sacrament of penance (that is Confession) at least once within 20 days that of the day you are trying to earn the indulgence. Unlike the previous two requirements a single confession during this period can apply to the full 8 indulgences.
That’s the easy part ow here are the hard parts
- 1. You must be in a state of grace, that means no unconfessed mortal sin. So if you confessed within that 20 day period and commit a mortal sin get back to confession ASAP
- 2. No attachment to sin, even venial sins., if you have such an attachment or desire to sin, the indulgence gained will only be partial.
My suggestion? While you can keep said indulgence for yourself, I would suggest that as tomorrow is All souls day this is a perfect time to earn an indulgence for deceased friends or relatives, members of your organization or congregants of your parish who have died over the year.
Now remember this is not a “Get out of Hell Free” card. Although such prayers will go into the deposit of faith where they will be put to good use This or any indulgence will do no good to someone in hell and are not necessary for someone already in heaven such as the canonized saints.
But since the only people who KNOW are in heaven are canonized saints and as we have until the very last moment of life to repent we don’t if any particular person is in Hell (and shame on you if think otherwise that’s what the whole “do not judge” business is all about) it’s certainly worthwhile to take this time for the souls of the departed who can’t pray for themselves, because remember we will all be in that same position too some day.
And of course such practices build the habit of devout prayer.
If that’s not worth a few minutes a day for a week I’d like to know what is?