Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers tells us how to obtain an indulgence. Indulgences can be obtained, once the three prerequisites are met. First, you must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The indulgence is not about just getting a free pass to Heaven. Reconciliation must be received first, because that is what remits the eternal punishment of sins. See our video on what an indulgence is here. Next, you must receive the Eucharist to be in full communion with the Church. The final prerequisite is that you must pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Once these things have been completed, there are a number of acts of faith that can help you obtain a partial or plenary indulgence. Remember from our previous video, that a partial indulgence remits part of the temporal punishment of sin, while a plenary indulgence removes it entirely. Many of these acts of faith are listed in the Handbook of Indulgences. The book includes different prayers and litanies that can be performed. There are also certain pilgrimages in holy years or visits to shrines that can satisfy the requirements. But in its essence, the indulgence is always based on our faith and a true longing to not even maintain any desire for sin in our lives.

We receive indulgences not because Christ’s love and passion is somehow incomplete for our salvation, but instead as an extension of our belief in the power of the cross to rid us of the burden of temporal punishment of sin. We are given life totally and fully through Jesus Christ.

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For references from this video, check out our “References” page.