Concerning Indulgences and prayers from old prayerbooks

I had asked Father Serpa this question but he misunderstood my question. So I am asking it in these forums to see if I can get clear answer to my question.

In old prayerbooks where the indulgences given were a number of days or years the indulgence was always partial according to my understanding. (Please correct me if I am wrong). Now that indulgences are strictly plenary and partial I am wondering whether these old prayers still can carry an indulgence (not in days but plenary and partial as it is now)?

I find the prayers in the older prayerbooks much more edifying and dignified in language that lifts up the soul to Our Lord. If I should pray these old prayers from old prayer books do they carry with them any indulgence at all or have the indulgences for these prayers been removed totally?

I hope that I am making myself understood because Father Serpa thought that I wanted to pray all of these old prayerbook prayers just to get a bunch of indulgences and that is definitely not the intention behind my question. I will pray these prayers regardless as they bring my soul such warmth and goodness… I am just curious to know whether or not they now carry an indulgence that is plenary or partial.

Thank you for your time and responses.

God bless

I can’t lay my hand on a precise source right now (it’s too late in the evening, and my medication is starting to kick in), but I believe the status of those partial indulgences of specific length, like those given in the old Baltimore Catechism, is that partial indulgences are no longer specified as to length; they are just partial indulgences. I also don’t think that those prayers and activities that used to have specific partial indulgences have been dis-indulgenced entirely.

I did go hunting for a reference after all:

See if those prayers are contained in the newest Enchiridion of Indulgences.
If yes, then they have indulgences according to what is stated in the Enchiridion. Otherwise, it was revoked.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Paul VI – having received a report on the matter in an Audience granted on June 14 of the present year to the undersigned Cardinal, the Penitentiary Major – on the 15th day of the same month approved, and ordered to be held authentic, the new Enchiridion of Indulgences as published by the Vatican Press. All general grants of indulgences, not included in this same Enchiridion, are hereby revoked. Revoked also are any ordinances concerning indulgences, not included in the Norms on Indulgences given below, whether in the Code of Canon Law, or in Apostolic Letters, even if issued “Motu proprio,” or in Decrees of the Holy See.
[the 1968 Decree of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary]

Of course since 1968, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been adding new indulgences (such as the Divine Mercy).

It depends, A lot of prayers are now covered under general grants. For example, any approved (and if the book has an Imprimatur, which it should have, you can consider it approved) prayer to the Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is covered by concession 7.2, to the Blessed Virgin by concession 17.2, to the Guardian Angel by 18, to St. Joseph by 19, to a saint on his/her feast day by 20, any mental prayer, etc. So a good many prayers are probably covered by a partial indulgence. Old plenary indulgence grants on the other hand - probably not.

The latest version (2002) is the only current one, the English version is the Manual of Indulgences and was published by USCCB 2005.

The various indulgences are not all given there as the orders and confraternities renew theirs individually.

I have a question about confraternities as mentioned just above. The case of St. Philomena is an interesting one indeed. The Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena claims that indulgences attached to devotions are still in effect. However, these indulgences are not listed in the Enchiridion and I could find no independent source to verify this claim. As you note above, they may have renewed their grant independently. How can I get a definitive answer on this?

DaveBJ, thank you for hunting down that reference for me. :slight_smile: It helped me to understand indulgences alittle bit better but unfortunately didn’t clear up for me the case about indulgences and old prayerbook indulgences.

Alfonsus (great name! Alfonsus Liguori is one of my patron saints)… When it comes to the listing of prayers I tend to use the prayers listed in the Manual of Indulgences book published by the USCCB. Would you happen to know if the current Enchiridion is printed by Vatican Press or not? I would like to get my hands on a copy. Thank you so much for posting the clarification from the 1968 Enchiridion. Now that I know that the indulgences for the old prayerbook prayers have been revoked my question has been answered.

As alittle side note… I do know that whenever we lift our mind up in prayer as per the Manual of Indulgences in “Mental Prayer” we gain a partial indulgence. This is how it is stated on page 57 of the Manual of Indulgences…


A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who for their personal edification devoutly spend time in mental prayer"**

Whether or not the prayers in the old prayerbooks still carry an indulgence was not a serious a concern for me, as I already knew that all mental prayer carries a partial indulgence, it was out of mere curiousity to know what had happened to the indulgences for old prayers. The term “revoked” was a good way to describe it… unfortunately it did not enter into my itty bitty brain to use it. :blush:

Thanks to all who responded to this thread. My question has now been answered by the poster Alfonsus.

God bless

My understanding is that they are all expired and if they had been renewed (I seem to recall there was a deadline?) the Indulgences are now either Full or Partial under the usual conditions.

One of the problems that I encounter on this topic is that there are certain groups of Catholics, some in communion with Rome and some that are not, that views these changes by HH, Servant of God, Pope Paul VI as something other than binding.

Here is: “Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI, Indulgentiarum Doctrina, Whereby the Revision of Sacred Indulgences is Promulgated.”

In English: (Link)

Thank you for the link. I will read it later when I have the time.

God bless

Enchiridion indulgentiarum: normae et concessiones
1 June 28, 1968
2 October 1968
3 May 18, 1986
4 July 16, 1999

It is possible to verify through offices in Rome (Apostolic Penitentiary), if you cannot find a religious order that has described the protocol.

For example, for the Brown Scapular: decrees of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary 144/68/R of June 25, 1968, and 11533/68/R of Sept. 17, 1968.

I think you can find the English translation trough some book stores. I’m not aware if it is the newest edition or not. Perhaps the one published by USCCB that you used is already the newest one.
The one Kevin posted for you is the newest in Latin from Vatican website.

This one is 1968 edition in English: Enchiridion of Indulgences

They are historically interesting, but all but the fourth edition has be aborogated.

Enchiridion indulgentiarum: normae et concessiones

1 June 28, 1968
2 October 1968
3 May 18, 1986
4 July 16, 1999

One can get an English Translation from USCCB, Manual of Indulgences:

Thank you Vico

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