All Souls Novena

There are two indulgences associated with All Souls that you can obtain.

  1. All Souls Novena: From November 1-8, you can earn 1 plenary indulgence each day for a poor soul in purgatory if you visit a cemetery and offer prayers for the deceased (this also requires you to attend Mass each day, receive Holy Communion each day and the other usual conditions).
  2. All Souls’ Day Nov. 2 – Plenary Indulgence (Grant #29.1.2): A plenary indulgence is granted the faithful who, on All Souls’ Day (or according to the judgment of the bishop, on the Sunday preceding or following it, or on the solemnity of All Saints), devoutly visits a church or an oratory and recites an Our Father and the Apostles Creed.

Please keep in mind that an indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray for the dead (even if the prayer is only mental) during the first 8 days of November. A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted to the faithful, who piously visit a church or a public oratory on All Souls Day. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

Both of these indulgences are granted under the normal conditions, i.e., one must be baptized and in the state of grace, be free from an attachment to sin, go to confession within 20 days, receive Holy Communion on the day you visit the cemetery or church, and offer prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father (a Creed and an Our Father will suffice).

 

Indulgence prayers

Our Father, Who art in heaven

Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence:

  • Do the work while in a state of grace,
  • Receive Sacramental confession within 20 days of the work (several plenary indulgences may be earned per reception),
  • Receive Eucharistic communion (one plenary indulgence may be earned per reception),
  • Pray for the pope’s intentions (Our Father and Hail Mary, or other appropriate prayer, is sufficient),
  • Have no attachment to sin (even venial) – i.e., it is sufficient that the Christian makes an act of the will to love God and despise sin.

Requirements for a partial indulgence: The work must be done while in a state of grace and with the general intention of earning an indulgence.

Notes:

  • Only baptized persons in a state of grace who generally intend to do so may earn indulgences.
  • Indulgences cannot be applied to the living, but only to the one doing the work or to the dead.
  • Only one plenary indulgence per day can be earned (except for prayer at the hour of one’s own death).
  • Several partial indulgences can be earned during the same day.
  • If only part of a work with plenary indulgence attached is completed, a partial indulgence still obtains.
  • If the penance assigned in confession has indulgences attached, the one work can satisfy both penance and indulgence.
  • Confessors may commute the work or the conditions if the penitent cannot perform them due to legitimate obstacles.
  • In groups, indulgenced prayer must be recited by at least one member while the others at least mentally follow the prayer.
  • If speech/hearing impairments make recitation impossible, mental expression or reading of the prayer is sufficient.
  • For an indulgence attached to a particular day requiring a church visit, the day begins at noon the day before and ends at midnight.

Courtesy of Bridegroom Press.