April 11, 2017

Easter Triduum Plenary Indulgences

Dominican cross

There are several plenary indulgences that may be obtained during the Easter Triduum — from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. An indulgence may be either partial or plenary. It is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment. A plenary indulgence may only be obtained once per day. The following prayers/professions will merit a plenary indulgence — provided the conditions for a plenary indulgence are met. (See below.)

Plenary Indulgence Opportunities During the Easter Triduum

◗ Every Friday of Lent: Recitation of O Good and Sweetest Jesus after reception of the Eucharist before an image of the crucified Christ.

◗ Holy Thursday: Praying the Tantum Ergo after the Mass of the Last Supper.

◗ Good Friday: Participating in the Veneration of the Cross.

◗ Holy Saturday: Renewing your baptismal vows at the Easter Vigil Mass (renewing your baptismal vows on the anniversary of your baptism may also earn a plenary indulgence). Attending any Mass of First Communion (Easter Vigil Mass is a First Communion Mass) may likewise earn a plenary indulgence.

◗ Stations of the Cross: This always merits a plenary indulgence, no matter the season. It must be performed before 14 stations, lawfully erected, with devout meditation on the Passion of Our Lord and movement from one station to the next. If the crowd is large, the leader at least must move from cross to cross.

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence

◗ Perform/recite the prescribed work or prayer.

◗ Worthily receive Communion. (Preferably, the day of the work or prayer.)

◗ Say one "Our Father" and the "Apostles Creed".

◗ Say one "Our Father" and one "Hail Mary" for the Holy Father’s intentions (the intentions designated by the Holy Father each month).

◗ Make a sacramental confession within 20 days.

◗ For a plenary indulgence, one must be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (or the indulgence is partial, not plenary).

For more on the Church's teachings on indulgences, read the Enchiridion of Indulgences promulgated by the 1968 Decree of the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary. Also see The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Indulgences, Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 4, Subsection 10.

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