What is an indulgence?
An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. The graces granted through an indulgence come from all the graces won for us by the saving works of Jesus Christ and the Communion of Saints.
Two types of indulgences:
- Plenary indulgence – makes full atonement for the temporal punishment due to sin.
- Partial indulgence – makes partial atonement for the temporal punishment due to sin.
Who can obtain an indulgence?
A person seeking an indulgence must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace when performing the work of the indulgence. A person also needs to have the sincere intention of gaining the indulgence before doing the particular work associated with it. A person must also have a complete rejection of the desire to commit any sin.
Can we obtain an indulgence for the deceased?
An indulgence may be obtained for the souls in Purgatory, or for oneself. It cannot be obtained for another living person.