The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. Our prayers for the suffering souls in purgatory is an act of charity that eases their suffering and helps them complete their purification sooner. This is our role in the communion of saints. Just as the saints in heaven (the Church Triumphant) pray for us on earth making our way to heaven (the Church Militant), so we who are alive on earth can pray for the holy souls in purgatory (the Church Suffering). And, if we pray for them, they will pray for us in return in gratitude for helping them get to heaven more quickly. (A Plenary indulgence can be gained for a soul in purgatory. This is extended for the month of November!) A Catholic who wishes to obtain a plenary indulgence must also fulfill the ordinary conditions of an indulgence, which are sacramental Confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the pope’s intentions.
Eternal Rest grant unto them, oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.