November 20, 2015

How to receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy

Top: the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, 200 Hill Drive, in St. Meinrad, has been designated a pilgrimage site to receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy. Bottom: Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin has also designated SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis, as a pilgrimage site to receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy. (Criterion file photos)

Top: the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, 200 Hill Drive, in St. Meinrad, has been designated a pilgrimage site to receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy. Bottom: Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin has also designated SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis, as a pilgrimage site to receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy. (Criterion file photos)

Criterion staff report

The Holy See has designated four ways that Catholics may receive a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy, which will begin on Dec. 8 and conclude on Nov. 20, 2016.

Only one plenary indulgence may be received per day. A single participation in the sacrament of penance can apply to any reception of a plenary indulgence 20 days before or after going to confession. However, reception of Communion and praying for the intentions of the pope and the pope himself are required for each plenary indulgence.

For more information on indulgences, consult paragraphs #1471-#1479 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Visiting a pilgrimage church

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin has designated SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis, and the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, 200 Hill Drive, in St. Meinrad, as the two pilgrimage churches for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

In order to receive a plenary indulgence by visiting one of these pilgrimage churches, Catholics need to fulfill the following conditions:

  • Pass through the doors of mercy of the pilgrimage church.
  • Make a profession of faith in the church (either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed).
  • Pray for the pope’s intentions and the pope himself.
  • Meditate on mercy while receiving Communion during a period either 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.
  • Participate in the sacrament of penance during a period either 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.

The sick and elderly who are unable to visit a pilgrimage church:

  • Make a profession of faith (either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed).
  • Pray for the pope’s intentions and the pope himself.
  • Only if possible, receive Communion and meditate on mercy during a period either 20 days before or after making the profession of faith and praying for the pope and his intentions.
  • If receiving Communion is not possible, then a person may also participate in a televised Mass or one shown on the Internet.
  • Only if possible, participate in the sacrament of penance during a period either 20 days before or after making the profession of faith and praying for the pope and his intentions.

Incarcerated people who are unable to visit a pilgrimage church:

  • Make a profession of faith (either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed).
  • Pray for the pope’s intentions and the pope himself.
  • Fulfill the above conditions in a jail or prison chapel. If they cannot do this or if the facility does not have a chapel, they can be carried out in a prisoner’s cell.
  • Only if possible, receive Communion and meditate on mercy during a period either 20 days before or after making the profession of faith and praying for the pope and his intentions.
  • Only if possible, participate in the sacrament of penance during a period either 20 days before or after making the profession of faith and praying for the pope and his intentions.

Perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy

  • Spiritual works of mercy:
    • Counsel the doubtful
    • Instruct the ignorant
    • Admonish sinners
    • Comfort the afflicted
    • Forgive offenses
    • Bear wrongs patiently
    • Pray for the living and the dead
  • Corporal Works of Mercy:
    • Feed the hungry
    • Give drink to the thirsty
    • Clothe the naked
    • Shelter the homeless
    • Visit the sick
    • Visit the imprisoned
    • Bury the dead
  • Make a profession of faith (either the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed) during a period either 20 days before or after performing a work of mercy.
  • Receive Communion and meditate upon mercy for each work of mercy that a person does in order to receive an indulgence.
  • Participate in the sacrament of penance during a period either 20 days before or after performing a work of mercy. One participation in the sacrament of penance can apply to any work of mercy performed during the period through which a person seeks to receive an indulgence.
     

(For more information on the Holy Year of Mercy in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, visit www.archindy.org/holyyearofmercy.)

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