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Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on

Plenary Indulgences for the Deceased Faithful in the Current Pandemic

Having considered the requests from various Pastors of the Church in view of the continuing state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Apostolic Penitentiary, through a Decree made public on 28 October 2021, has extended for the entire month of November 2021 the special provisions announced in the Decree on 22 October 2020 in connection with the “granting of Plenary Indulgences for the deceased faithful”.  Accordingly, the provisions for granting plenary indulgences on “All Souls Day” this year, as announced by the Chancery Notice of 11 October 2021 (see diocesan weeklies on 17 October 2021), are hereby revised as follows:

  1. a. the Plenary Indulgence for those who visit a cemetery and pray for the deceased, even if only mentally, normally established only for the individual days from 1 to 8 November, may be transferred to other days of the same month, until its end. These days, freely chosen by the individual faithful, may also be separate from each other (Note: A Catholic who performs the required work on any and each of the aforementioned eight days will acquire a Plenary Indulgence.).

  1. b. the Plenary Indulgence of 2 November, established on the occasion of the Commemoration of all the deceased faithful for those who piously visit a church or oratory and recite the “Our Father” and the “Creed” there, may be transferred not only to the preceding or following Sunday or to the day of the Solemnity of All Saints, but also to another day of the month of November, freely chosen by the individual faithful.

        The elderly, the sick and all those who for serious reasons cannot leave their homes, for example because of restrictions imposed by the competent authority in this time of the pandemic, in order to prevent numerous faithful from crowding into holy places, will be able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence as long as they join spiritually with all the other faithful, completely detached from sin and with the intention of complying as soon as possible with the three usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, recite pious prayers for the deceased, for example, Lauds and Vespers of the Office of the Dead, the Marian Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, other prayers for the deceased dearest to the faithful, or occupy themselves in contemplative reading of one of the Gospel passages proposed by the liturgy of the deceased, or perform a work of mercy by offering to God the sorrows and hardships of their own lives.

 Given at the Chancery Office,

30 October 2021.

Rev. Lawrence LEE


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