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There Is Leeway in Fulfilling the Divine Mercy Indulgence

Question:

Is it necessary to go to confession on Divine Mercy Sunday to receive the indulgence, or can you go before or after?

Answer:

To receive any plenary indulgence, the faithful must receive sacramental confession, receive eucharistic Communion, and pray for the intentions of the supreme pontiff in addition to the spiritual work for the indulgence.

According to the decree of indulgences attached to devotions in honor of Divine Mercy the following conditions must be met on Divine Mercy Sunday to receive this particular plenary indulgence:

  • Be in a state of grace
  • Be detached from every affection for sin, including venial sin
  • Take part in prayers and devotions in honor of Divine Mercy in the presence of the Eucharist (exposed or in the tabernacle)
  • Recite the Our Father and the Creed
  • Add a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus

The general requirements for a plenary indulgence (confession, communion, prayers for the pope’s intentions) can be fulfilled ahead of time or over time. Of course, to ensure that one is in a state of grace to fulfill the particular indulgence of Divine Mercy Sunday, it is most prudent to confess either that weekend or shortly before.

However, as the Holy See’s Apostolic Penitentiary has decreed, and provided the communicant is in a state of grace for Communion, sacramental confession can be received within twenty days either before or after Divine Mercy Sunday.

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