Indulgences becoming more widely publicized these days; both plenary and partial indulgences are available, so long as one meets the requirements; in addition to performing the indulgenced act, one must do the following:

  1. Sacramental Confession,
  2. Communion, and
  3. Prayer for the intention of the Holy Father, all to be performed within days of each other if not at the same time

One must also be detached from all sin, even venial sin.

Some indulgences are always available, such as the Plenary indulgence for Eucharistic Adoration (for at least one half hour, partial indulgence granted for a shorter time), some are for limited periods such as an Indulgence for the Souls in Purgatory for visiting a cemetery with devotion and praying for the dead on All Soul’s Day or a week thereafter; Nov. 1-8.

Several churches in my Archdiocese, including the Cathedral, have been declared Pilgrimage Sites for the remainder of the Pauline Year which entails the above-listed requirements plus making a  pious visit to one of the designated Pilgrimage Sites and the participation in a religious function or pious public exercise of devotion in honor of the Apostle Paul while visiting the site.

My normal place of worship is a Pilgrimage site so my biggest requirement is to detach myself from sin;  I confess regularly, receive communion regularly and pray a rosary for the intentions of the Holy Father every day.

Indulgences may be applied to oneself or to the dead. Only one Plenary Indulgence may be earned a day but multiple Partial Indulgences may be earned.

8 Responses to Indulgences

  1. thefrenchchick says:

    Okay, as a cradle Catholic, now I’m confused. You list confession as one of the requirements and then state later that we also must be detached from all sin. Isn’t that what going to confession does for us, detaches us from sin?

  2. ernesto riebeling says:

    sin is a wound that heals with confecion

    but there is a cicatris or costrita that is removed with the indulgence

  3. Nan says:

    Apparently not because I got that info from the Office of Worship at the Archdiocese but am not certain how it relates.

    Thanks, Ernesto for the info about the indulgence healing the scar from the sin.

    I’m still not clear on how to become detached from all sin; nevertheless, I’ll try for the indulgence. I’ll end up with a partial one no matter what.

  4. thefrenchchick says:

    I spoke with my priest this week and asked him about detachment from sin. He explained that detachment from sin is when you live life without even a thought of sin. No sin in your life at all. This is very difficult to do. Getting a plenary indulgence requires this complete detachment from sin. So most people will receive a partial indulgence rather than a plenary indulgence.

    Hope this helps.

  5. bfhu says:

    That is what I thought it meant too but someone told me it is only a desire not to sin. Fr. J????

  6. Robert says:


    Detachment from venial sin is not equal to being sinless.

    Perhaps I could reword it this way: do you have a fundamentally good will such that you have firmly decided in your actions that you wish to please God, and hence to avoid any action that displeases Him?

    Whenever such a person discovers a sin which they habitually commit, he will try to reform himself and stop from willing that action.

    Let me explain this to you with a more familiar problem. I think it’s fairly common for most of us to allow vulgar language and cursing into our speech. I know that I did this during my high school years.

    As I started to come back to the Lord I was concerned only with staying out of mortal sin and avoiding mortal sin. But He made it progressively clear to me that I could no longer *deliberately* persist in venial sin, no matter how petty it was. And one of the first imperfections I found was my use of language.

    Here is why it was a problem– first of all, it’s obviously not a mortal sin to merely use foul language. So I had ready made excuses for not immediately stopping it. Worse than that, I had formed my own prideful attachments to it. After all, I do like being a funny person (although you’d never guess it from the internet!), and sometimes a well-placed expletive ‘fills out’ a joke or punch line well.

    And so it would become quite clear to me, especially when I was joking around with friends, because it would come to the point where I could realize definitely that I could choose either to use the foul language and thus buy my wretched joke and perhaps a laugh, or I could bite my tongue and reword what I wanted to say in a less pithy, less direct- and therefore, less funny way.

    And so, needless to say, I had to get rid of it.

    But I have two choices. Whenever I go to confession I can confess the sin, and not actually repent of doing the deed in general, that is, I can go into the confessional without intending to “go and sin no more” as regards this sin, or I can go into the confessional and be contrite for the sin, and intending to reform my life such that I reject in principle deliberately harboring the will to persist in any action, no matter how petty, which is against God’s will.

    Confession *forgives* us of our sin, but does not necessarily detach us. It is, however, invaluable as a channel of the very grace we need for obtaining that detachment.

    So I do think you priest is a little confused, but it is a very tough subject.

    But know this, it is not impossible to get a plenary indulgence, YOU definitely CAN get one, and you should try to get them as often as possible– offering them either for yourself or for a soul in purgatory. The Church doesn’t enjoin on us impossible things, and surely the very act of *trying* to get a plenary indulgence will help make you more fit to actually get one. Practice makes perfect.

    Plus, it’s not an all or nothing deal. If for some reason you fail to get the plenary indulgence, it defaults back onto a partial indulgence, which is proportionate to the charity (love) with which you carry out the act. So remember: always love much and you can never go wrong.

    And you will get it! Be persistent.

    God bless you.


  7. […] week, Indulgences are available for The Year for Priests, both on the 150th Anniversary of the Death of St. John […]

  8. […] Indulgences are available for The Year for Priests on the First Thursday of each month. […]

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