31 Dec & 1 Jan: Plenary Indulgences for the faithful

On 31 December  the faithful can gain a Plenary Indulgence by public recitation or singing of the Te Deum.
On 1 January the faithful can gain a Plenary Indulgence by public recitation or singing of the Veni Creator.

From the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (2004 – my emphases):

26 §1.  Plenaria indulgentia conceditur christifideli qui, in ecclesia vel oratorio, devote interfuit sollemni canuti vel recitationi:

1º hymni Veni, Creator, vel prima anni die ad divinam opem pro totius anni decursu implorandam, vel in sollemnitate Pentecostes;

2º hymni Te Deum, ultima anni die, ad gratias Deo referendas pro benefixiis totius anni decursu acceptis.

You must do the work in the state of grace, make a sacramental confession within 20 days of the work, pray for the Pope’s intentions, and have no attachment to sin, even venial sin.  It is sufficient to make a sincere act of will to love God and despise all sin.

The Pope’s intentions for December 2008 (for today and the Te Deum) are:

That in the face of a spreading of a culture of violence and death the Church through her apostolic and missionary activity may promote with courage the culture of life.

That especially in mission countries Christians may show with acts of fraternal love that the Child born in the stable at Bethlehem is the luminous Hope of the world.

The Holy Father’s intentions for January 2009 (and the Veni Creator indulgence) are:

…yet to come… I haven’t found them yet.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. puella says:

    Hi Fr. Z! Thanks for the heads-up about the indulgence – some mates and I are going down to the parish church later (Sneek, Friesland, the Netherlands, if anyone’s interested ;)), we’re going to Mass tomorrow and will receive Communion there, and if we’re not good at detaching ourselves from sin right now, it’s the best time to start practising :D

    Have a happy and holy 2009!

  2. joel says:

    Jan 09
    General: That the family may become more and more a place of training and transmission of the faith.
    Mission: That the different Christian confessions, aware of the need for a new evangelisation in this period of profound transformations, may be committed to announcing the Good News and moving towards the full unity of all Christians in order to offer a more credible testimony of the Gospel.

  3. David says:

    Too bad these indulgences depend on parish cooperation…

  4. Mila says:

    David, I was going to say the same. I have not heard of any parish singing the Te Deum on the last day of the year since I was a child in Cuba. Must have been 1960 or so.

  5. Woody Jones says:

    I believe that it is sufficient that the the recitation be public, not that the parish join in it necessarily. I have been known to intone it while still in church after Mass, say for the Vigil of Mary Mother of God, as I will tonight, in the following version, from the Book of Divine Worship (of the Anglican Usage), now helpfully available in its entirety in pdf format from atonementonline:

    7 We Praise Thee Te Deum laudamus
    We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
    All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
    To thee all Angels cry aloud,
    the Heavens and all the Powers therein.
    To thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
    Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
    Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
    The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
    The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
    The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
    The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge
    the Father, of an infinite majesty,
    thine adorable, true, and only Son,
    also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.
    Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
    Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
    When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
    thou didst humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
    When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
    thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
    Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
    We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.
    We therefore pray thee, help thy servants,
    whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
    Make them to be numbered with thy saints,
    in glory everlasting.

  6. M. A. Labeo says:

    Could you please clarify a couple of doubts, Father?.

    Would be sufficient to pray (i.e. Holy Father and Hail Mary) \”for the Pope\’s intentions\” or is it necessary to actually recite the intentions themselves so, when unknown, the indulgence cannot be gained?

    David and Mila. Based on the Communion of Saints I should say that by spiritually joining to the rest of the Church you would be in presence of the Angels and Saints and, therefore, \”in public\”. Perhaps Fr. may also enlighten us about it.

    May you all have a happy and holy new year.

  7. It’s a bit more than just being in the state of grace.

    Part of the requirement for a plenary indulgence is actually making a sacramental confession within a week before or after the indulgenced act.
    (One confession can cover several plenary indulgences though as long as it is made around the time of the indulgenced act).

    “23. 1. Besides the exclusion of all attachment to sin, even venial sin, the requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
    2. Several Plenary Indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single Sacramental Confession; only one may be gained, however, on the basis of a single Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
    3. The three conditions may be carried out several days preceding or following performance of the prescribed work. But it is more fitting that the Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the day the work is performed.”
    -Handbook of Indulgences, Norms.

  8. M. A. Labeo,

    #23. 5. The condition requiring prayer for the Pope’s intentions is satisfied by reciting once the Our Father and Hail Mary for his intentions (Pater Noster and Ave Maria); nevertheless all the faithful have the option of reciting any other prayer suited to their own piety and devotion.”
    – Handbook of Indulgences, Norms

    I’d say just praying generically “for the pope’s intentions” is enough without having to specifically know them. I’m sure he always has more than are just officially announced.

  9. Levavi says:

    Mila (and others):

    I am going to Benediction and Mass in the EF tonight, at S. Bede’s, Clapham Park, where they will sing the Veni Creator and the Te Deum!

  10. Anthony in Texas says:

    Woody Jones:

    Is Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston your parish church? I’ve visited a few times and would like to learn more about parish life at OLW. Please email me at apetry7 at gmail dot com, if you have any details you’d like to share.

  11. Derik says:

    My plan is go to the Cathedral in Lexington and, if the Te Deum is not sung after Mass, then do it by myself. I will sing it from the Graduale Romanum.

  12. M. A. Labeo says:

    Thank you Roman Sacristan.

    That is also my mind and as I usually do, but seeing Fr. expressly mentioning 2008 intentions and looking for 2009 ones has made me doubt.

    Regarding time frame for fulfilling the conditions, we are said here (Spain) that there is no rule setting a concrete period and that two weeks are acceptable. I think I have read something similar in a document from Apostolic Penitentiary, but cannot recall. If I find it I will post.

  13. Ygnacia says:

    Veni Creator

    Come, O Creator Spirit blest,
    And in our souls take up Thy rest,
    Come with Thy grace and Heavenly aid,
    And fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

    Great Paraclete! To Thee we cry,
    O highest gift of God most high!
    O fount of life! O fire of love!
    And sweet anointing from above.

    Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known,
    The finger of God’s hand we own;
    The promise of the Father, Thou!
    Who dost the tongue with power endow.

    Kindle our senses from above,
    And make our hearts o’erflow with love;
    With patience firm and virtue high,
    The weakness of our flesh supply.

    Far from us drive the foe we dread,
    And grant us Thy true peace instead;
    So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
    Turn from the path of life aside.

    Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
    The Father and the Son to know,
    And Thee through endless times confessed
    Of both the Eternal Spirit blest.
    All glory while the ages run
    Be to the Father and the Son
    Who rose from death; the same to Thee,
    O Holy Ghost, eternally. Amen.

    Veni, Creator Spiritus,
    mentes tuorum visita,
    imple superna gratia
    quae tu creasti pectora.

    Qui diceris Paraclitus,
    altissima donum Dei,
    fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
    et spiritalis unctio.

    Tu, septiformis munere,
    digitus paternae dexterae,
    Tu rite promissum Patris,
    sermone ditans guttura.

    Accende lumen sensibus:
    infunde amorem cordibus:
    infirma nostri corporis
    virtute firmans perpeti.

    Hostem repellas longius,
    pacemque dones protinus:
    ductore sic te praevio
    vitemus omne noxium.

    Per te sciamus da Patrem,
    noscamus atque Filium;
    Teque utrisque Spiritum
    credamus omni tempore.

    Deo Patri sit gloria,
    et Filio, qui a mortuis
    surrexit, ac Paraclito,
    in saeculorum saecula. Amen.

  14. Anthony says:

    Question: Would singing a metrical setting of the Te Deum or Veni, Creator Spiritus apply towards the indulgence? I’m thinking particularly of Holy God, we Praise Thy Name, which our parish has always sung as the closing hymn on New Year’s Eve.

  15. TomB says:

    What is the definition of “public”? I assume in a church would be one answer. I plan to sing Veni Creator after Mass tomorrow morning, but is some other public place acceptable?


    Holy Father’s Intentions January 2009:
    General: That the family may become more and more a place of training in charity, personal growth and transmission of the faith.

    Mission: That the different Christian confessions, aware of the need for a new evangelisation in this period of profound transformations, may be committed to announcing the Good News and moving towards the full unity of all Christians in order to offer a more credible testimony of the Gospel.

  16. Alan the lurker says:

    Pope Benedict XVI’s intentions for an 09

    God bless.

  17. Fr. BJ says:

    The Apostleship of Prayer maintains a web site with all of the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the year. You can see it here:


    Incidentally, they also offer a number of resources free of charge that priests might be interested in, such as attractive prints of the Sacred Heart and pamphlets that can be given to families to help them enthrone the Sacred Heart in their homes.

  18. q7swallows says:

    Fr. Z,

    Might you let us know a few days in advance about future indulgence possibilities? This would give us some time to invite others to join but more importantly, it could have had a significant impact on our entire parish. I had a chance to influence the choice of hymns for our choir’s music today and if I had known about the “Veni Creator” in time, I could have added it, or better yet, averted stuff like “Let There Be Peace on Earth” that we did end up singing. My children and I ended up singing the V.C. (alone) outside the closed church this evening in the cold . . .

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