Shouldn't one Mass get someone out of Purgatory?


If one Mass and Holy Communion is offered for a soul in Purgatory shouldn’t we just assume they are in heaven now? Since the Mass has all the graces of Christ’s sacrifice on Purgatory I just don’t understand how there could be any further need for purification after one Mass has been offered. Of course I don’t have a problem with continuing to pray for their soul but I just don’t understand how theologically it would make sense that anyone would still be in Purgatory after a Mass was offered for them.


Who says it dosen’t? We certainly would like one Mass to release our loved one. But deep in our soul, we really don’t know do we? It would seem like one would be sufficient. But then do we want to chance it? Sometimes we just must admit that we don’t know.

May God our Father give you grace and peace.


Your probably right, but we don’t know for certain, continued prayers are applied to other souls in purgatory that have no one to pray for them if your loved one does not need it. So keep praying :slight_smile:


In my daily prayers I always include all the souls in Purgatory as one of my intentions.
Try that. You’ll cover all your bases that way. :smiley:


It’s my understanding it depends on the gravity of the offenses. Some need many masses and prayers in order to be freed from purgatory.


I urge caution here. While God can do anything, and God is just and merciful, we may yet be amazed at the penalty sin has.


I would suggest gaining a plenary indulgence. That should do the trick, right? But we cannot assume an individual soul is in Heaven or anywhere else, because we don’t know the state of their soul at death, except for canonized saints.


But I just don’t get this, surely the sacrifice of the Mass- the sacrifice of Calvary- should be enough to cleanse any ?!

I would suggest gaining a plenary indulgence. That should do the trick, right? But we cannot assume an individual soul is in Heaven or anywhere else, because we don’t know the state of their soul at death, except for canonized saints.

I do of course try to do this, but I am just confused as to why I don’t see how any plenary indulgence could be more effective then a Mass.

I’m not trying to get out of prying for the dead, nor am I trying to find the easiest way to do it, I am just trying to understand why anything could be more effective then a Mass and how anything could be more effective in making up for sin then one Mass. :shrug:


Plenary indulgences are not black-and-white, either. It’s impossible to be absolutely sure if you have received one.

Best to keep praying for the souls of your loved ones.


There are some people whose offenses are so grave that they are to be in purgatory till the end of time, according to some. Sometimes, it takes more than one mass, as I say, due to the gravity of the sins. One simply may not be enough.

Christ did his part, but it requires enough on our part, as well.


I don’t know about that though I recall that a single mass offered for a person while they’re living may be better than 1000 offered when they’re not. Whether I read that on this forum, in my church bulliten, or heard it from the pulpit I couldn’t tell you.


Hmmm, this doesn’t make sense to me. How can anything we do have any merit except united to the Holy Mass? I agree we need to make effort, but any effort, united to the Mass, surely that should make up for *all *punishment due to sin. It is precisely this idea that someone would have to be in purgatory till the end of time that I simply don’t understand. How can there be anything greater than the sacrifice of the Mass to forgive sins? How can it be insufficient, whatever sin we commit surely Christ’s sacrifice annuls any punishment incurred. I don’t understand how if the sacrifice of the Mass is not sufficient 100s of years of suffering in purgatory can be.

I might ask the apologists thread


I fear we may be looking at it too materialistically. Indeed a Mass does pour out great graces, but what matters here is not how much it gives us, but how much of an effect it has on us. Is one Mass in our entire life sufficient to increase holiness in ourselves? If not, why would it be any different for our brethren awaiting purification? :slight_smile:


The Mass is a Re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary. It exists for all time. It is NOT sacrificing Jesus over and over each time to pay for our sins. Jesus died once for all.

If your logic about Mass and purgatory were consistent, you would think that Mass would not even need to be offered because Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. So hey, free pass to heaven right? Nope. You still have to purify. You still have to make amends. Justice still needs to be exacted. I think you are confused as to what the Mass really is.


I believe the Church has put out a list of indulgences, both plenary and partial.

Some of them are listed here

and here.

Note that all plenary indulgences require confession, communion, and prayers for the intention of the Holy Father. But since it is required that you yourself be totally free of all sin, you are right in not presuming there’s full pardon for yourself or for whom (among the dead) you intend the plenary indulgence.


Right. It is the last detail, (what some people call the “catch”) in that the person obtaining the indulgence must be entirely free from all attachment to sin, that makes it so we are never sure if we have obtained one. I mean, completely free from ALL attachment? That means that the person must have no vice that he habitually commits, no vice that he is attached to committing. I think that very, very few of the Catholics in the world are actually this way.

Thankfully, however, attempts for a plenary indulgence, if it is not obtained, revert to a partial indulgence, so graces are still obtained for our efforts.


Think of it this way: Every time you go to Confession and are absolved of your sins, you aren’t purified 100% either because temporal punishment remains. Sin has lasting effects that aren’t easily cleansed by one occassion of Confession or one Mass for a lifetime’s worth of sin for a particular soul in purgatory.


No, I know this. but all the graces of Calvary are given at one Mass. That’s what sacraments are. We of course can sin further on earth so the need to go multiple times (but all venial sins are forgiven when we receive communion) but those in Purgatory can’t commit any more sin. :shrug:


OK, I guess it’s just another thing I wont fully understand but just accept hey. :slight_smile:


Hmmmm. If you steal money, you still have to return it. If you’ve injured someone’s name, you still have to rectify the situation. If you’ve disobeyed, you still need to make restitution. Forgiveness is only the first step; at least that’s the way it was explained to me.

Also AFAIK the Mass itself is not a sacrament but the Eucharist is.

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