According to the Catechism, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment associated with sin.
Here are four indulgences available that you can receive during the month of November.
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 1471
Octave of All Saints
A plenary indulgence is available applicable only to souls in purgatory by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead each day during the Octave of All Saints’ Day from November 1st to the 8th.
Feast of All Souls
A plenary indulgence is available for the faithful who devoutly visit a church or oratory and pray the Our Father along with the Nicene Creed on November 2nd.
A plenary indulgence is available for the faithful who visit a cathedral and pray the Our Father and Nicene Creed on the Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran on November 9th or on the Feast of the Dedication of Saints Peter and Paul on November 18th.
Feast of Christ the King
A plenary indulgence is available for the faithful who pray the Act of Dedication to Christ the King on the Feast of Christ the King on November 25th.
Are there any other requirements for being granted an indulgence by the Church? Most definitely. Indulgences cannot be gained by the sheer acts alone listed above, or by saying prayers as if they were magic spells.
The granting of indulgences are predicated on the internal disposition of the person and by meeting the three prerequisites: Sacramental Confession, Holy Communion, and Prayer for the Intentions of the Pope. All must be performed within days of each other if not at the same time. Additionally, one must be free from all attachment to sin. What does that mean? Freedom from attachment to sin does not mean freedom from all sin – that would be impossible. Rather, it means there must be no sin the soul is not willing to renounce, possibly the most difficult requirement.
If any of the above four conditions aren’t meant, you can still receive a partial indulgence – a partial remission of the temporal punishment associated with sin.
Interesting in learning more about the various indulgences? Read about the Enchiridion of Indulgences here.