Sunday, November 1, 2009

Coemeterii visitatio

An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally for the dead. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from November 1 through November 8 and can be gained on each one of these days. On the other days of the year this indulgence is a partial one.
- The Handbook of Indulgences (1991)

Today begins an eight-day quest. As I point out above, the Handbook of Indulgences sees these days around All Saints and All Souls as an opportunity for indulgenced prayers at cemeteries. So, besides my half-hour of Adoration before Mass this a.m., I drove to my nearby Oakwood Cemetery and prayed the Miserere (Ps 51) for all my family members in Purgatory.

I have never felt so close to the faithful dead and Communion of Saints as at this time. And, strangely, there is no dread, no remnant of pagan numinosity - only a rightness, a vocation, a Quest to be carried out in Marian chivalry.

How blessed we are as Catholics.

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