Can a child who has not yet made their First Holy Communion obtain indulgences for the holy souls in purgatory on All Souls Day? My 5 year old would love to do this but I don’t want to tell him wrong as to whether or not he can participate.
Among the requirements for gaining this indulgence, the faithful must confess within a brief period of time and receive Holy Communion. A Latin Church child under the age of reason would not be able to fulfill these requirements, and so would not be able to gain this indulgence.
That said, I strongly urge the parent to allow her child to accompany her to the cemetery and pray to gain the indulgence! Help to establish a habit of prayer that will serve the junior well through his whole life.
Furthermore, the prayers of small children are, in my opinion, efficacious even if they are not capable of gaining indulgences.
As someone not yet capable of committing a mortal sin, baptized children are in the state of grace. (Although I am not so sure about 3 year olds.) Their prayers must be of surpassing sweetness to the ears of Our Lord, who would hardly refuse to answer. Parents should encourage children to pray for the souls in Purgatory. Even if little stupor mundi is not yet capable of fulfilling all the requirements for gaining the indulgence, he is nevertheless helping to free souls from the deprivation of Purgatory and to stand face to face before God. Those holy souls will surely remember and intercede for the young one who assisted them in their hour of anguish.