20 WAYS TO PRAY FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
1. Pray the Novena to the Holy Souls.
2. Offer up your Holy Communions for the souls in purgatory.
3. Have Masses said for your departed loved ones, especially on the anniversary of his or her death.
4. Pray The Way Of The Cross for Souls in Purgatory.
5. Pray the special Holy Souls Rosary. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Rosary is the most powerful prayer.
6. Obtain indulgences: Indulgences reduce or cancel the temporal punishment that we incur through sin.* There are many ways to obtain indulgences through pious actions, and we can apply their merits to the dead. If you visit a church or oratory on All Souls Day and recite there the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's Creed, you can earn a plenary (full) indulgence applicable only to the souls in purgatory (under the usual conditions).
7. Give alms: The giving of material assistance to the poor has always been considered a penance that can be offered for the Holy Souls. "For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin" (Tobit 12:9).
8. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intention of the Holy Souls.
9. Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great: tradition holds that St. Gertrude was told that piously reciting this prayer releases 1,000 souls from purgatory.
10. Sprinkle holy water on the ground: St. John Macias, a great friend of those in purgatory, would often sprinkle holy water on the ground for the spiritual benefit of the suffering souls.
11. When passing by a cemetery, pray the short Eternal Rest prayer: "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen." This prayer carries a partial indulgence applicable to the poor souls.
12. Practice the tradition of praying the Eternal Rest prayer (above) before and after your meals as an easy way to pray for the holy souls daily. You can also pray the prayer between the decades of your daily rosary.
13. Visit a cemetery: Pray over the graves of your departed loved ones, or visit a random graveyard and pray for those who may have no one to pray for them. Simply doing this gains a partial indulgence for those in purgatory. While you're there, sprinkle holy water on the graves. If you make this visit daily during the octave of All Souls Day (November 2-9) you can gain a plenary indulgence* applicable to the souls in purgatory.
14. Eucharistic Adoration: make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for those in purgatory.
15. Sacrifices: practice acts of self-denial and offer these penances up for the poor souls.
16. Pray the Office of the Dead. You can find this in your volume of the Liturgy of the Hours or online here.
17. Ask for the intercession of saints who were known to be great friends of the Holy Souls during their lifetime: St. Nicholas of Tolentino, St. Gertrude the Great, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Padre Pio, St. Philip Neri, St. John Macías, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Joseph, Our Lady, and others.
18. Special prayers: Throughout your day, offer up short and spontaneous prayers for the holy souls. Consider buying purgatory books with more prayers and special devotions for the Holy Souls.
19. Repent go to confession: Confessing your own sins makes your prayers for souls more effective.
20. Spread devotion to the Holy Souls: Make others aware of the great need these suffering souls have for our prayers.