If you are not quite clear with the background and basics of indulgences and why they exist, you can read more about indulgence here.

Before we get to some of the prayers and devotions which are done for having an indulgence granted to you, there are some conditions that must be met before one can have an indulgence granted.
the basics are:

  1. There are two types of indulgences – partial and plenary (full).
  2. Plenary indulgences can only be granted one a day unless death is imminent.
  3. To have a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and fulfill three conditions:
  • sacramental confession
  • Eucharistic Communion and
  • prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

It is further required that you must be free from all attachment to sin, even venial. If this is not the case, the plenary indulgence becomes a partial one. Note That the three conditions above must be met within a few days before or after the work is done for the indulgence and indulgences may be done for yourself or those in purgatory, but not others who are still alive on earth.

Here are some prayers and devotions, whether it is a partial or plenary indulgence.

Partial

  • Teaching or studying Christian doctrine
  • Praying the Apostles’ Creed
  • An act of Spiritual Communion
  • Prayer for the household
  • Reciting several approved litanies
  • Praying the Memorare
  • Reciting Psalm 51
  • Making devout use of a blessed holy object (e.g., a crucifix, rosary, scapular, etc)
  • Spending devout time in mental prayer
  • Prayer for the Pope

Plenary

  • Half an hour of Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament
  • Papal blessing
  • Adoration of the Cross during Good Friday services
  • Attending the closing Mass of a Eucharistic Congress
  • Three days of retreat
  • Receiving 1st Holy Communion or assisting at a 1st Holy Communion
  • Being ordained a priest or devoutly participating in an ordination Mass of a priest
  • Reciting a rosary in a church or within the family or religious community (Other times it is partial).
  • Reading Sacred Scripture for 30 minutes or more (Partial if less).

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