1. Religion & Spirituality
Scott P. Richert

Preparing for All Souls Day

By October 25, 2013

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November 2 is All Souls Day, the day on which the Roman Catholic Church commemorates all of those who have died and are now in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.A Memento Mori marks a tomb in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. (Photo © Scott P. Richert) At one time, Catholics flocked to their churches on All Souls Day, to offer prayers in memory of their friends and loved ones. These days, however, most All Souls Day Masses are poorly attended.

Since praying for the dead is our Christian duty, it's sad to see how little attention is paid to All Souls Day. That's especially true since there is a special plenary indulgence that can be gained for the souls in Purgatory on All Souls Day. A plenary indulgence removes all temporal punishment for sin--and so, in effect, releases a soul from Purgatory.

All you have to do is visit a church, recite one Our Father and the Creed, receive Communion, and pray one additional Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The final requirement is that you take part in the Sacrament of Confession, but you can do that up to seven days before or afterward. Since most Catholic parishes offer Confession on Saturday, you can go to Confession this Saturday or next, and then fulfill the rest of the requirements on All Souls Day itself.

The All Souls Day indulgence is a wonderful way to show your love for a friend or family member who has died. In less than an hour on All Souls Day, you can release a soul from Purgatory. Why not gain the indulgence for your loved one?

(A Memento Mori marks a tomb in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. Photo © Scott P. Richert)

More on All Souls Day and Indulgences:

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Comments
October 28, 2008 at 10:04 am
(1) mark escobar says:

This article helps me review my own understanding of All Souls Day. Our Catholic identity enables us to deepen more our proximity to those who have gone before us. Prayers are indeed a way to sustain us in our journey of relationships. With that attitude of openness and commitment to prayer, I see that God works in many ways and in every reason. Kudos and more power to this website. My prayer goes out to the founder of this wonderful ministry.

October 29, 2008 at 8:33 am
(2) Nancy says:

What a gorgeous image – perfect for this timely reminder about the feast days we’re about to celebrate.

October 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(3) fernando de la riva averhoff says:

Praying

” Almighty Father, I offer THEE the Flesh and Blood Soul and Divinity of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord. together with all the Masses offered today in all the world for the salvation of Souls” releases souls from Purgatory.

This prayer was revealed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Gertrudis, a XII Century mistic

October 31, 2010 at 5:13 am
(4) Michael Ezzo says:

Perhaps the reason why attendance at All Souls Day Mass is so low in recent years is that people simply do not know (because they were never taught) what Purgatory is. This is something that needs to change.

October 31, 2010 at 9:30 am
(5) Haubert says:

Thanks once more Scott for all these efforts to clarify on so many issues the church is experiencing these last days.So many of our fellow catholics are really not aware of many things or do not just understand the values of the church.Many rather watch TBN and swallow all kinds of preachings where people who seem to know more exhibit their understanding of things supported by verses that are usually memorised and catholics sometimes feel lost and as if everything we do is just either not in the bible or pure invention.Our dear departed don’t need anything from us than just simple prayers,yet it is taught on tv that once dead people wait for judgement or go straight to hell.So please continue reaffirming our brothers and sisters with all these values which are still real and so essential to our spiritual lives.We pray for you everyday.

November 2, 2010 at 1:59 am
(6) Isabel Saguinsin II says:

Thank you Scott for a good article. Really helps a lot to remind everyone the importance of this feast

October 29, 2011 at 2:38 am
(7) Agnes Githinji says:

Thank you soo much Scott for your teaching. Honestly i dint know that confession is part of the requirements in preparation for All souls Day. God bless you and keep up the good work

November 1, 2011 at 1:22 am
(8) Reginald Smith says:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

November 2, 2011 at 2:12 am
(9) Alexander Mickus says:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

November 2, 2011 at 3:10 am
(10) RGM says:

Thanks Scott, for the wonderful message of the All Souls Day, i never knew that we had to confess ,in this occasion.

I totally agree to Michael , it is the duty of the parish to make people aware . Later, they take it or leave it, is up to them.

I have a doubt, there s a saying ,for the All Souls day , our beloved who are dead will visit us ?

Is it true ?

November 2, 2011 at 10:41 am
(11) wltdc@yahoo.ca says:

You are insane.

November 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm
(12) Scott P. Richert says:

And you are a witty conversationalist!

Sadly, it appears that we’re both wrong.

November 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm
(13) TG says:

Good article. It’s sad more Catholics don’t know about praying for the Pool Souls. As our priest said on Sunday, we all want to think our loved are in heaven but we don’t really know.

November 1, 2012 at 9:00 am
(14) Stewart says:

All Soul Day is man made Tradition.That is why The Lord Jesus said in Mark 7:7-8. As such All Soul Day is unbiblical.

November 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm
(15) Gavin says:

The link you have to the Creed gives an incorrect representation of the Creed. It says “the quick and the dead” which is the name of a western gunfighter film instead of using the correct phrase which is “the living and the dead”, well as far as I know. :)

November 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm
(16) Scott P. Richert says:

Gavin, did you ever wonder why the Western has the title “The Quick and the Dead”?

The English phrase is an older translation, which you will still find in certain prayerbooks. “The living and the dead” isn’t “correct,” in an absolute sense; it’s simply the English translation most commonly used today.

October 31, 2013 at 11:21 am
(17) Claude says:

This website is very good. I must confirm here that spirituality we receive is in abundance.Thank you once again.

November 2, 2013 at 10:16 am
(18) Len Dalpiaz says:

To: Michale Ezzo, so true it would be nice to have a review once in a while of the basics of our faith at our homilies once in a while. That is why I love this blog.

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