Gain Plenary Indulgences on 31 Dec and 1 Jan

We should develop the good habit of gaining indulgences. Holy Church provides many opportunities to gain these spiritual gifts from the treasure of the merits of Christ and the saints.

Keep in mind that in addition to the work to be performed, you should rouse in yourself a true sense of sorrow for and detachment from any sins.  Be sure you will have made a good confession and received Communion within about 20 days.

Today, 31 December, you can gain a plenary indulgence by reciting the Te Deum.  A plenary indulgence is gained for reciting the Te Deum on the last day of the year. On other days of the year, the indulgence is partial.  You can recite it in Latin or the vernacular.

Tomorrow, 1 January, you can gain a plenary indulgence by reciting the prayer Veni, Creator Spiritus.  On other days, the indulgence is partial.

Easy, no?

I’ll make this easier still.

For the Te Deum, click HERE

For the Veni Creator click HERE

Indulgences!  A spiritual work of mercy for others and good for your own soul too.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Confession. Check. Communion. Check. True sense of sorrow and detachment from sin? I don’t understand how “detachment from sin” works when we’re all sinners?

  2. Tom says:

    What exactly is the “public” requirement? Must I go to the local mall and sing it? (Just kidding.) I could go to a church and recite it, that would be public too, right? Must it be audible to others, or can I read it silently?

  3. AMTFisher says:

    A seminarian friend of mine (back home for break) and I recited it this morning for the Office of Readings. Does that “count” or does it have to be outside of the ordinary liturgical requirements?

  4. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Nan,
    How does “detachment from sin” work when we’re all sinners?

    By not wishing to, and wishing not to, commit the sin again. We need of course not pretend that St. John’s prophecy about us all being sinners wouldn’t apply to our future life, but we had better not wish to, and wish not to, fall back into sin.

    With the example of alcohol:

    “I regularly get drunk to the point of loss of reason, and I don’t want to change that” – attachment to mortal sin (though Confession may, I guess, still be valid, if there is no formal decision to sin again).
    “I regularly get drunk, really drunk, but not to the point of loss of reason, and I don’t want to change that” – attachment to venial sin. Confession and Communion possible, but not plenary indulgence.
    [“I guess I spend to much of my money for drinking, doing so quite frequently, and I don’t want to change that” – attachment to an imperfection.]

    (I’m quite thankful, in fact, that for a plenary indulgence, only detachment from sins is demanded and not also detachment from imperfections.)

  5. Uxixu says:

    I just said the Te Deum, thanks Father Z. My young kids are home and they usually make too much of a ruckus so I didn’t go to the daily morning Mass, though am planning on attending the evening.

  6. Imrahil says:

    Dear @AMTFisher,

    it can (as far as I see) well be a part of the liturgical requirements (which wouldn’t apply to you anyway). What precisely “solemn” means I don’t know. But anyway, apparently you did not recite it in ecclesia vel orario, and so, I regret to say, it does not seem to count.

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “Detachment from sin” is not wanting to get back to sinning as soon as you step out of the confessional, not holding back a portion of yourself with the thought that sin is really okay, and not trying to convince yourself that sin is not really wrong.

    There’s a difference between being a sinner, and being a fan of sinning. With God’s help, we can keep from loving sin for long enough to get an indulgence. Heck, we can start to wean ourselves off sin with God’s help; that’s part of the point of justification, putting on Christ, etc.

  8. NBW says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. Have a wonderful New Year!

  9. Uxixu says:

    Oh to gain the indulgence, it says the prayer should be recited in public. Would inside a church count or would one need to be on the corner?

    I’m not conscious of mortal sin since my last confession, but I’ll need to do an examination of conscience and perhaps find some near occasion and/or venial sins to confess….

  10. APX says:

    Every New Years Eve we have 6 hours of Exposition in the church during which we are implored to make holy hours of reparation for the multitude of sins commited this evening. Then right before midnight we sing (or at least attempt to sing) Te Deum for the plenary indulgence, and bring in the new year with benediction.

    I’m just wondering, how accurate does one have to be when attempting to sing it in order to gain a plenary indulgence? Could someone not compose a Te Deum in “Simpler Tone”? “Simple tone” isn’t very simple.

  11. Imrahil says:

    Dear @APX,

    required is to “devoutly attend the solemn singing or recitation” (qui devote interfuerit sollemni cantui vel recitationi). Listening to the schola, or the rest of the congregation, suffices.

  12. Matt R says:

    If one would like to sing the Te Deum or the Veni Creator Spiritus, the sheet music is here, from Gregobase (in a PDF).

  13. IoannesPetrus says:

    I see what others have commented here and ask the same question myself, re: what makes the recitation public. I think I’d read something that said that, so long as it is made aloud in full, it is deemed to have been public, even in one’s household. Still, I’d like to be sure of it because I’d like to do it for myself. I would try to get others to join in, but, where I live, there is little understanding on (or even care for) indulgences.

    Also on the page linked by Father Z to the Te Deum are the lyrics to its hymn adaptation, “Holy God, we praise Thy Name”. I’d like to know: may we use this as an alternative for the purpose of gaining the indulgence? That way, I figure, it could be easier to quickly encourage the whole of my parish to participate – that is, if they even know this hymn :/ (We’re of the kind that still have “To be alive” in our hymnals!)

  14. Mike_in_Kenner says:

    It seems the English version from the USCCB leaves out a key phrase from the Latin version. The USCCB’s Manual of Indulgences (printed in English in 2006, translated from the Vatican’s 4th edition from 1999) for Grant n. 26 vaguely says “…to the faithful who devoutly assist either at the recitation or solemn singing of…” the Veni Creator on Jan. 1 (or also on Pentecost) or the Te Deum on Dec. 31.

    The Latin text for n. 26 on the Vatican website says: “Plenaria indulgentia conceditur christifideli qui, in ecclesia vel oratorio, devote interfuerit sollemni cantui vel recitationi: …”

    I had the understanding that the specified act to gain these indulgences had to involve a public ceremony in a church or oratory, not just a private recitation, or even a private recitation in a church. (Reading “interfuerit” or the English “assist…at” to mean being present at a communal activity done publicly in a church.) Perhaps Fr. Z could clarify this.

  15. lsclerkin says:

    Never did this before, as I was not taught about it. Until now. So from here on out…will do.

  16. czemike says:

    An excellent two-voice a capella version of the Veni Sancte Spiritus can be found over at Audio Sancto:

  17. AMTFisher says:

    we were actually in our Church. Though, I only remembered that the Te Deum has the indulgence later after I got home (oddly enough, not from the blog; just remembered it, looked it up in the Manual, and there it was), so unfortunately I think it wouldn’t have applied because of Norm 17.2 “To gain an indulgence, one must have at least the general intention of doing so…” (Though, again not sure, because I was aware of the indulgence, I just didn’t put 2 and 2 together until after the work. My guess would be no.)

    But there is no reason we shouldn’t sing it again and again! Just finished Evelyn Waugh’s bio of Edmund Campion. Upon hearing their sentences, Edmund and his fellow Catholics burst out into the Te Deum. Beautiful. Especially with the words: “You [not Queen Elizabeth or the Church of England] are God: we praise you. You are the Lord: we acclaim you…The glorious company of Apostles praise you, the noble fellowship of prophets praise you, the white-robed army of martyrs praise you…Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own Blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.”

    St. Edmund and all the holy Martyrs of England: orate pro nobis!

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