From a reader…
Thanks to you and your blog, I am intending to receive a plenary indulgence or three (aim high!) for the souls in purgatory over Nov 1 – Nov 8. Reading through the Manual of Indulgences, from the fourth edition (1999) of Enchiridion Indulgentiarum: Normae et Concessiones, N23 states:
“To gain an indulgence it is sufficient to recite the prayer
alternately with a companion or to follow it mentally while it is
being recited by another”.
To me this reads as though an indulgence cannot be granted if I only say the prayer silently to myself; that the prayer(s) need to be said with someone or recite them mentally when someone else is saying the prayer out loud. Have I interpreted this correctly? Can you please clarify?
At the Vatican site HERE we find the current text.
Pro fidelibus defunctis
§ 1. Plenaria indulgentia, animabus in Purgatorio detentis tantummodo applicabilis, conceditur christifideli qui
1° singulis diebus, a primo usque ad octavum novembris, coemeterium devote visitaverit et, vel mente tantum, pro defunctis exoraverit;
2° die Commemorationis omnium fidelium defunctorum (vel, de consensu Ordinarii, die Dominico antecedenti aut subsequenti aut die sollemnitatis Omnium Sanctorum) ecclesiam aut oratorium pie visitaverit ibique recitaverit Pater et Credo.
There is no mention of having to pray with someone else. Also, it says that the prayer can be offered “mentally”, so it doesn’t have to be aloud.
You can go to the cemetery each day and gain the indulgence from 1-8 November by praying for the dead. On All Souls (and other days determined by the bishop) you can gain the indulgence by visiting the church and praying the Our Father and Creed.
The Church is pretty flexible with these grants. While it is good to be in a group, sometimes that’s not possible. Other people can’t get to church, so they can pray at home. We should try for the idea: at church or with others. But the important thing is the get the indulgence!
I hope that people will pray for me when I die.