Are we obligated to pray for the dead, those in Purgatory?

I’d like to add too they are prayed for in each Mass in praying for all who have “fallen aslerp” in each Nass every day.

A couple of notes or thoughts.

Note well though that while one can say we have- as that one Bishop and the Servant of God Fr. John Hardon SJ did - a duty to pray for and bury the dead. That would not mean that one ought to become scrupulous about praying for the dead (as some readers out there might).

Just as your not obliged to go around burying all that have died …they ought not to scruple in the area praying for the dead.

Also remember too both praying for the dead and burying the dead are also works of mercy.

And finally though all souls day is now past - November has long been considered a month to especially pray for those who have gone before us on this pilgrimage.

Then why in the world didn’t you ask your priest instead of insisting on an authoritative, legal answer?

Not sure if you would accept Passages on Purgatory in Diary of St. Faustina - I will put one example below but there are many more in her Diary:

One night, a sister who had died two months previously came to me. She was a sister of the first choir. I saw her in a terrible condition, all in flames with her face painfully distorted. This lasted only a short time, and then she disappeared. A shudder went through my soul because I did not know whether she was suffering in PURGATORY or in hell. Nevertheless, I redoubled my prayers for her. The next night she came again, but I saw her in an even more horrible state, in the midst of flames which were even more intense, and despair was written all over her face. I was astonished to see her in a worse condition after the prayers I had offered for her, and I asked, “Haven’t my prayers helped you?” She answered that my prayers had not helped her and that nothing would help her. I said to her, “And the prayers which the whole community has offered for you, have they not been any help to you?” She said no, that these prayers had helped some other souls. I replied, “If my prayers are not helping you, Sister, please stop coming to me.” She disappeared at once. Despite this, I kept on praying.

After some time she came back again to me during the night, but already her appearance had changed. There were no longer any flames, as there had been before, and her face was radiant, her eyes beaming with joy. She told me that I had a true love for my neighbor and that many other souls had profited from my prayers. She urged me not to cease praying for the souls in PURGATORY, and she added that she herself would not remain there much longer. How astounding are the decrees of God! (Diary, 58)

thanks to - all the op

You’re looking at it the wrong way: it’s a work of charity. Purgatory is painful. We can help the people there, so we should.

There has been far too much emphasis on"obligated". We should not go to Mass because we are obligated ,but because we love God; we should pray for the souls in purgatory not because we are obligated but because we love God and humanity. Three successive Popes have said that purgatory is not a place;it is a state of being where solus are happy becaase they know they will go to heaven;sad because they cannot go yet.

It was a perfectly fair question.

The OP doesn’t have to give a reason for asking whether we are “obligated”, he just wanted to know.

One difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is that the Catholic Church is more clear about “obligations”, because while one person finds it easy to do something out of love, another may not. eg. One person would advise another to be faithful to their spouse out of love, however the second person finds it not so easy, and in the end does it because he must, not because he wants to. Yet he finds it easy to attend Mass every Sunday out of love, but the first doesn’t - so he must be reminded that it is an obligation.

One person might say that we are “obliged” to pray the rosary daily - and be simply wrong, yet he has fearful children wondering whether one decade, said on the verge of sleep, is “enough”.

We are always free to ask for clarification on whether or not something is actually an “obligation”. The OP asked because he saw some publications which assumed such an obligation exists and he wanted to be sure that they were correct, and not overstating the case.

It would not be unheard of for Catholic publications to invent “obligations”. :rolleyes:

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