Blessed All Souls Day to you dear readers, and to your families, living or dead. Every year at this time the Church offers very easy ways to earn plenary indulgences for the faithful departed by way of suffrage. I encourage you to try to obtain as many indulgences for the poor souls as possible, but at least one attempt would seem a minimal effort. There are many places to find the details but I just so happened to lift this from the SSPX website:
How to Gain Indulgences?
A brief outline on how to obtain a Plenary Indulgence and the particular acts to perform to gain an indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Six General rules for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence:
State of grace at least when performing the indulgenced act
Complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
Confession (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Communion (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Prayers for the Supreme Pontiff (20 days before or after the indulgenced act)
Indulgenced act: a special good work with special conditions of place and time
Indulgenced acts to be performed for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence for the Poor Souls of Purgatory:
From November 1 to 8: visit of a cemetery with mental prayer for the poor souls.
On November 2: visit of a church or an oratory with one Our Father and one Creed being recited.
On these days, a partial indulgence can be obtained any time by visiting a cemetery and praying for the Poor Souls.
The following prayer is especially recommended:
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Now the following is old school, and I am not here to discuss the canonical question of the old formulation of indulgences. But as I remembered that in the past there was a concept of indulgences for the dead during this time that superseded the usual rule that only one plenary indulgence can be gained in any day, I add the following lines. This was called the Toties Quoties Indulgence, because this plenary indulgence for the poor soulds could be earned as many times during the period as one could do the indulgenced act. I remember Evelyn Waugh described one of his characters earning several Toties Quoties indulgences–I don’t remember if it were in Brideshead Revisited or, more likely, Sword of Honour. Read both by all means, many times. Anyway, I lifted the description below from a sede site, so I won’t link it. It has all the marks of old school formulation– don’t let it make you scrupulous, but more prayers for the dead equals more better, as they say.
TOTIES QUOTIES INDULGENCE:
October 27, 2018
Beginning on, November 1 st , at noon and continuing to Midnight, November 2 nd , the Catholic faithful, as often as they visit a church to pray for the dead, reciting 6 times during the visit the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of Holy Mother Church, may gain: A plenary indulgence applicable only to the souls in Purgatory. This indulgence may also be gained from noon of the following Saturday until Sunday Midnight, but only by those who did not gain the indulgence on All Souls’ Day (Raccolta #590).
The faithful who during the period of eight days from the commemoration of All Souls inclusive, visit a cemetery in a spirit of piety and devotion and pray, even mentally for the dead, may gain: A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions on each day of the octave, applicable only to the faithful departed. Those souls who make such a visit, and pray for the Holy Souls, on any day in the year, may gain: An indulgence of 7 years, applicable only to the departed (Raccolta #592).
The faithful who recite prayers or perform other devout exercises in supplication for the faithful departed during the month of November, may gain: An indulgence of 3 years once each day; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of their 7 or 9 days of prayer (Raccolta #589).
Those who, during the aforesaid month, take part in public services held in a church or public oratory in intercession for the faithful departed may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on each day of the month; A plenary indulgence, if they attend these exercises on at least fifteen days, and in
addition go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of Holy Mother Church (Raccolta # 589).
The faithful who devoutly offer prayers at any season of the year in intercession for the souls of the faithful departed, with the intention of so continuing for seven or nine successive days, may obtain: An indulgence of 3 years once each day; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of their seven or nine days of prayer (Raccolta #588).
All Masses that are celebrated at any altar by any priest within the period of eight days from the commemoration of All Souls inclusive, enjoy the same privilege as if they were offered on a irivileged altar, but only in favor of the soul for whom they are applied (Raccolta #591).
CONDITIONS FOR GAINING AN INDULGENCE
To gain any indulgence, one must:
Be in the state of grace.
Have the intention to gain the indulgence.
Perform the work required .
In addition, if it is a question of a Plenary indulgence, one must:
Have true sorrow for all one’s sins.
Go to confession and receive Holy Communion
Pray one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of Holy Mother the Church.
Make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament
REMEMBER: You must move your lips during your prayers.
That last sentence calls to mind many conversations with the legendary Canon Lawyer X.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.