Changes to the normal practice for indulgences for Holy Souls

Because of Covid-19, by special mandate of Pope Francis, the Apostolic Penitentiary released last Friday some changes to the normal practice for indulgences for Holy Souls.

Plenary Indulgence during the month of November — Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the need to avoid large groups from forming where prohibited, the Plenary Indulgence applicable to the deceased by those who visit a cemetery has been extended beyond the normal dates of 1st to 8th November. This year, the indulgence can be obtained by anyone who visits a cemetery on any day in November, and devoutly prays for the faithful departed.

Plenary Indulgence for the Feast of All Souls’ Day — Regarding the Plenary Indulgence attached to All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, this year, it can be obtained not only on the preceding or succeeding Sunday, or on the actual Feast-day, but on any other day of the month chosen by each member of the faithful. In this case the indulgence is obtained by devoutly visiting a church or an oratory, along with the recitation of the Our Father and the Creed, and the other requirements associated with a Plenary Indulgence.

The Housebound — For anyone who cannot leave their home for various reasons, they too can obtain the Plenary Indulgence by uniting themselves spiritually to other members of the faithful. it is recommended to pray before a cross, or a picture or statue of Jesus or Mary. In this case, the condition of being ‘completely detached from sin’ and the intention of completing the other requirements for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence remain. These conditions are Sacramental Confession, reception of Holy Communion and a prayer for the Holy Father’s Intentions.

This year, because reception of Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist are not available during Level 5 here in Ireland, those conditions can be taken on intention to avail of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist at the earliest opportunity.