All Souls’ Day

By Charla Misse

As we approach November, the month dedicated by the Catholic Church to the souls in purgatory, I noticed a reminder in my calendar on All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2: Pray the Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed at church for a plenary indulgence for souls.

I only learned of this indulgence over the past year.

The church teaches us that the faithful departed (known as holy or poor souls) will enjoy heaven, but must first undergo purification (purgatory). These souls cannot help themselves, however. They are totally reliant on the charity of the living to pass through purgatory. We have been called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ!

There are many ways to help poor souls at any time: offering Masses, making small acts of sacrifice, giving alms as penance, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and praying the Eternal Rest prayer. We can offer these things for any and all departed souls – people we knew or never knew.

And, as I learned this year, we can make an All Souls’ Day offering that provides for their plenary indulgence (a full remission of sins). How infinitely wise and merciful is Our God!

To complete this plenary indulgence, the usual conditions apply. While in a state grace and detached from even venial sin, pray the Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed at church Nov. 2 and, within 20 days, make a sacramental confession, receive eucharistic communion and make a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions.

We are united in Christ and bound to help one another. May we remember those who have departed and assist them on their journey to eternal life, giving glory and praise to God forever and ever.

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