Plenary Indulgence

Someone explain this too me, regarding the Year of Mercy Jubilee Year, I’ve researched a lot but I’m still confused, and I"m going to try and explain it in more detail to the Youth I teach.
I understand it is the complete remission of all temporal punishment, they seemed quite interested in this, but I"m confused by when you do what??? Since it takes place all year, what exactly is the “act” which you have to do? I know you have to go to confession, receive communion, pray for Pope, but it also says you have to have a complete detachment of sin, so you have to have this complete detachment while doing what??? I feel like a dummy like I should be getting this…maybe an example?
thanks so much

also I just read this while researching, is this correct?

Recitation of the Rosary (Rosarii marialis recitatio – EI 17 §1. 1°)
A plenary indulgence is granted if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious Community or pious Association;
A partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances.

Also just read:

A plenary indulgence is granted each Friday of Lent to the faithfull who after Communion piously recite before an image of Christ crucified the prayer “look down upon me, good an gentle Jesus”

so for these types you would also have to be completely free of sin even venial, correct?

There is an official book called Manual of Indulgences

That said, my understanding is the following are required for a plenary indulgence:

Confession, receiving the Eucharist, prayers with the intentions of the pope, and complete detachment from all sin

I believe any prayers will do, but my understanding is that the Prayer before the crucifix and the Anima Christi have particular significance for this purpose

Also, complete detachment means you detest all your sins, it does not mean you become perfect. In other words, we firmly resolve to repent and do not accept any sin as an OK thing.

During the year of mercy, walking through holy doors is another item to add to the list.

This is correct. The main indulgence granted for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is not listed in the Enchiridion but it is to enter the Holy Doors or Doors of Mercy established by the Holy Father and all the bishops.


Check with your local parish/diocese of a Door of Mercy near you. If your bishop is worth his salt then he has at least established one in his Cathedral. If you are somehow impeded from traveling there you may still gain the indulgence through the provisions given in the grant.

I have a copy of the Manual of Indulgences.

There are many ways to get a plenary indulgence, but most of them are attached to a certain day of the year or to visiting a particular place. Some, however, can be done by anyone at any time.

You can gain only one plenary indulgence a day, unless you are in the hour of death.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Sacramental Confession. A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences, but Holy Communion must be received and prayer for the pope’s intention must be recited to gain each plenary indulgence.

  2. No attachment to sin, including venial sin

  3. Holy Communion must be received

  4. The prayer for the pope’s intention can be fulfilled by one Our Father and one Hail Mary; however, any other prayer of devotion will suffice

  5. One of the following:

    A) Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for at least one half hour
    B) pious exercise of the Way of the Cross
    C) recitation of the rosary in a church or an oratory, or in a family, or a religious community, or when several of the faithful are gathered for any good purpose. Five decades suffices, but devout meditation must be added to the vocal prayer, and it must be done without interruption
    D) devout reading or listening to Sacred Scripture for a least half an hour from a text approved by competent authority

  6. One must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least at the completion of the prescribed works

  7. The works may be fulfilled within several days of each other. The Manual does not define what it means by “several days,” but I have always heard it means two weeks.

If you really want to read up on indulgences, I encourage you to get a copy of the Manual of Indulgences. I would encourage getting a printed copy (not Kindle) since the way the book is set up, sometimes flipping back and forth between pages is necessary.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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