Purgatory

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Aquinas

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/7001.htm

Logic

Premise 1: There will be neither sin, nor attachment to sin, in Heaven.

Premise 2: We are still sinning and are attached to sin at the end of our earthly life.

Conclusion: Therefore, if anyone is to go to heaven, there must be a period between death and heavenly glory, in which the saved are cleansed of sin and their attachment to sin.


Is a premise wrong? Or do you think there's something that prevents the conclusion from following the premise?

If issue with premise 1: Revelation 21:27 "Nothing unclean shall enter heaven"

If issue with premise 2: 1 John 1:8 "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

Scripture

Now if any one builds on the foundation [i.e., Jesus Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble - each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. [1 Corinthians 3:12-15]
so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [1 Peter 1:7]
And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. [Matthew 12:32]

From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny. [Mt. 5:25-26 (also Luke 12:58-59)]
On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kinsmen in the sepulchres of their fathers. Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jam′nia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen. So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. [2 Macc. 12:39-45]
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? [1 Corinthians 15:29]

Prayer for the dead

However, in the case of martyred Christians, it was felt that it was inappropriate to pray "for" the martyrs, since they were believed to be in no need of such prayers, having instantly passed to the Beatific Vision of Heaven. Theoretically, too, prayer for those in hell (understood as the abode of the eternally lost) would be useless, but since there is no certainty that any particular person is in hell understood in that sense, prayers were and are offered for all the dead, except for those believed to be in heaven. These are prayed to, not for. Thus, prayers were and are offered for all those in Hades, the abode of the dead who are not known to be in heaven, sometimes rendered as "hell". With the development of the doctrine of purgatory, the dead prayed for were spoken of as being in purgatory and, in view of the certainty that by the process of purification and with the help of the prayers of the faithful they were destined for heaven, they were referred to as the "holy souls".


> Now there is no need to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need; nor again for those who are in hell, because they cannot be loosed from sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom... > > - Aquinas, [Summa Theologiae](http://www.newadvent.org/summa/7001.htm)

Argument styles

Consider driving in direction of linking prayer to dead with purgatory, then connect historical church belief in prayer for dead

Indulgences

Christendom was terrified of being wiped out by Muslims, and took the cross to defend both their lands and holy places. These waves of attacks were called the crusades, primarily composed of Europeans.

The information below is quoted or paraphrased from the book "The concise history of the crusades", third student edition, by Thomas Madden.

First Crusade

Pope Urban II called First Crusade on 1095 AD. While they were on the march, Urban granted the crusade indulgence to the warriors who fought to wrest Tarragona from its Muslim conquerors.

In 1114 AD warriors who captured the Balearic Islands were crusaders - took vow of the cross, received an indulgence, dressed as crusaders, and were accompanied by a papal legate. (Called the Reconquista, second front of the Crusades). 1123 First Lateran Council referred to crusaders as warriors headed either to Jerusalem or Spain.

Fifth Crusade

At first, women, the poor and elderly played virtually no part - they were urged to stay home lest they burden the warriors on their difficult journey. There were exceptions - cooks and washerwomen came along, but they did not appear to have taken a vow, and thus were not crusaders.

Women started taking a more active role in the thirteenth century (fifth crusade). Pope Innocent III sought to harness the effort of all Europeans for the crusades. Women, who could not physically join a crusade could take part in fasting, prayer, and monetary donations for the benefit of the holy cause.

Previously when a man took a vow to crusade, if his wife did not give consent (which was required as it deprived her of her conjugal rights), the vow was nullified (according to Church law). This was abused - men would take the vow, then get cold feet and back out, reporting that his wife refused to give consent. Innocent closed this loophole, removing the requirement for a wife's consent for the vow to be valid.

Innocent also started the practice of allowing those unfit for military service to outfit and supply a warrior for the crusade and thereby share in the crusade indulgence. This practice was expanded by his successors, particularly Gregory IX (1227-41). In order to raise funds for crusading, popes began encouraging all Christians, including women, to take the cross. The vow would then be "redeemed" - for a donation of money to support the crusade the vow was commuted. This pratice allowed women to take a much more active role, and crusade preachers soon began addressing their sermons to women, urging them to take the cross just as their husbands, brothers, and fathers had done in the past.

The Fourth Crusade spun out of control, with the church not specifically leading it. With the Fifth Crusade that Innocent called for, he designed to be an enterprise fully administered and managed by the church. Toward that end, the pope commissioned a new corps of crusade preachers, each one trained in the approved texts. These clerics were dispatched to strategically selected regions to raise up the faithful in the holy cause.

One of the main items of businesses for the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) was this Fifth Crusade. Quia maior and the subsequent decrees of the council expanded and regularized the rights and privileges of the crusader - in addition to the indulgence, they were given immunity to taxations, suspension of personal debts, and so on. Those who paid to outfit and supply a crusader could share in the crusading indulgence - increasing the number of those who could make the journey, and also extending to women, the elderly and sick spiritual benefits previously only available to fighting men. This provision planted the seed that in three centuries' time would grow into the weed of abuses that ultimately led to the Protestant Reformation.

Time

We don't know how time works in the afterlife, and thus don't know how long purgatory will take.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict 16th) sided with idea that it'll be instant, won't take any temporal duration at all. "The transforming moment of this encounter cannot be quantified by the measurements of earthly time. It is indeed not eternal, but a transition, and yet trying to qualify it as a short or long duration of the basis of temporal measurement derived from physics would be naive and unproductive. The temporal measure of this encounter lies in the unsoundable depth of existence, in a passing over where we are burned ere we are transformed. To measure such existential time in terms of time of this world would be to ignore the specificity of the human spirit in its simultaneous relationship with and differentiation from the world."

It could just be the encounter with God that purifies us in an instant, as a purifying fire, that makes us fit to behold our Lord.

---

Prots believe it's instant, and thus don't give a name to it. Recent pope also believed it was possibly instant. Others believe it may take time - no one knows how time works in the afterlife, different from temporal time. Indulgences.

Scripture

> Now if any one builds on the foundation [i.e., Jesus Christ] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble - each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

^ 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

> so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

^ 1 Peter 1:7

> And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

^ Matthew 12:32

- From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

> Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

^ Mt. 5:25-26 (also Luke 12:58-59)

> On the next day, as by that time it had become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kinsmen in the sepulchres of their fathers. Then under the tunic of every one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jam′nia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was why these men had fallen. So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

^ 2 Macc. 12:39-45 [See <a href='https://github.com/emeth-/the-flow/blob/master/christian_old_testament_canon.md'>here</a> for history on 2 Maccabees being part of Canon]

> The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

^ 1 Corinthians 15:29

Summary / Big Picture

The <a href='http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm#1030'>Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)</a> states:

> 1030. All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

> 1031. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

> > As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come [a quotation from St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4,39:PL 77,396, with a reference to Mt. 12:31].

Hence, Purgatory is a temporary state that allows souls that die in friendship with God, and yet are still have some of the effects of sin in their soul, to be cleansed before their definitive encounter with God. This cleansing (which may take place on earth, in the form of reparation, or after death in Purgatory) constitutes the “temporal punishment” that is is the consequence of committing offences against God.

It is absolutely not, therefore, a “miniature Hell,” nor is it an intermediate state “between” Heaven and Hell. All souls in Purgatory are assured of their salvation; they are guaranteed to be in Heaven one day.

(Another common misconception is that persons spend a certain amount of “time” in Purgatory, and that the prayers and indulgences reduce or eliminate that “time.” This misconception has doubtless been fostered in part by the fact that before the current Enchiridion on Indulgences, indulgences were often given with a number of “days” or “years;” however, the time period was intended to indicate, not the amount of time remitted in Purgatory, but the duration of certain penances that were traditionally given back in the Middle Ages—indulgences were originally intended to be remissions of all or part of those penances. In fact, since the persons in Purgatory do not yet have bodies—having lost theirs at death and since they are awaiting General Resurrection—they do not experience time in the same way we do on earth. A more severe purification need not, therefore, take place over a longer period of “time.”)

The early Christians were fiercely defensive of the true doctrine, and whenever a serious deviation was introduced, there was a swift reaction by those who maintained the orthodox view: this attitude is evident in the various controversies that arose in the first centuries: Marcion (who led a Gnostic sect), Sabelius (who advocated Modalism, a Trinitarian heresy), Arius (who denied the divinity of the Word), the “Pneumatomachoi” (who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit), Nestorius (who denied the personal unity of Jesus), and so on—there are countless examples. We would expect that if the doctrine of Purgatory were seen as innovative and dangerous, that there would have been a vocal reaction on the part of the Church; however, there was not. The practice of praying for the dead was uncontroversial (and indeed predates Christianity, as we saw with the passage from 2 Maccabees), as was the idea that a purification is sometimes necessary before persons enter Heaven (already taught by St. Paul, as we saw).

- The above quoted from <a href='https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/38633/how-is-the-catholic-belief-in-purgatory-supported'>here</a>


However, in the case of martyred Christians, it was felt that it was inappropriate to pray "for" the martyrs, since they were believed to be in no need of such prayers, having instantly passed to the Beatific Vision of Heaven. Theoretically, too, prayer for those in hell (understood as the abode of the eternally lost) would be useless, but since there is no certainty that any particular person is in hell understood in that sense, prayers were and are offered for all the dead, except for those believed to be in heaven. These are prayed to, not for. Thus, prayers were and are offered for all those in Hades, the abode of the dead who are not known to be in heaven, sometimes rendered as "hell". With the development of the doctrine of purgatory, the dead prayed for were spoken of as being in purgatory and, in view of the certainty that by the process of purification and with the help of the prayers of the faithful they were destined for heaven, they were referred to as the "holy souls".

- The above quoted from <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_for_the_dead#Christianity'>here</a>

Should we pray for the dead?

~160 AD | Acts of Paul and Thecla: Yes, New Testament Apocrypha

And after the exhibition, Tryphaena again received her [Thecla]. For her daughter Falconilla had died and said to her in a dream: 'Mother, you shall have this stranger Thecla in my place, in order that she may pray concerning me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the righteous'

- Quoted from here
 

~190 AD | Epitaph of Abercius: Yes

The citizen of a prominent city, I erected this while I lived, that I might have a resting place for my body. Abercius is my name, a disciple of the chaste shepherd who feeds his sheep on the mountains and in the fields, who has great eyes surveying everywhere, who taught me the faithful writings of life. Standing by, I, Abercius, ordered this to be inscribed; truly I was in my seventy-second year. May everyone who is in accord with this and who understands it pray for Abercius.

- Quoted from here. This rendering taken from here
 

~202 AD | Perpetua: Yes

[T]hat very night, this was shown to me in a vision: I saw Dinocrates going out from a gloomy place, where also there were several others, and he was parched and very thirsty, with a filthy countenance and pallid color, and the wound on his face which he had when he died. This Dinocrates had been my brother after the flesh, seven years of age, who died miserably with disease. . . . For him I had made my prayer, and between him and me there was a large interval, so that neither of us could approach to the other . . . and [I] knew that my brother was in suffering. But I trusted that my prayer would bring help to his suffering; and I prayed for him every day until we passed over into the prison of the camp, for we were to fight in the camp-show. Then . . . I made my prayer for my brother day and night, groaning and weeping that he might be granted to me. Then, on the day on which we remained in fetters, this was shown to me. I saw that that place which I had formerly observed to be in gloom was now bright; and Dinocrates, with a clean body well clad, was finding refreshment. . . . He went away from the water to play joyously, after the manner of children, and I awoke. Then I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment

- Quoted from The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicity, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 3-4
 

210 AD | Tertullian: Yes

[T]hat allegory of the Lord [Matt. 5:25–26]... is extremely clear and simple in its meaning... [beware lest as] a transgressor of your agreement, before God the Judge... and lest this Judge deliver you over to the angel who is to execute the sentence, and he commit you to the prison of hell, out of which there will be no dismissal until the smallest even of your delinquencies be paid off in the period before the resurrection. What can be a more fitting sense than this? What a truer interpretation?

- Quoted from A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 35
We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries

- Quoted from The Chaplet (or De Corona), Chapter 3. This rendering taken from here
A woman, after the death of her husband... prays for his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice

- Quoted from On Monogamy, Chapter 10. This rendering taken from here
 

~253 AD | Cyprian: ?, but speaks of purgatory

The strength of the truly believing remains unshaken, and with those who fear and love God with their whole heart, their integrity continues steady and strong. To adulterers even a time of repentance is granted by us, and peace [i.e., reconciliation] is given. Yet virginity is not therefore deficient in the Church, nor does the glorious design of continence languish through the sins of others. The Church, crowned with so many virgins, flourishes, and chastity and modesty preserve the tenor of their glory. Nor is the vigor of continence broken down because repentance and pardon are facilitated to the adulterer. It is one thing to stand for pardon, another thing to attain to glory; it is one thing, when cast into prison, not to go out thence until one has paid the uttermost farthing, another thing at once to receive the wages of faith and courage. It is one thing, tortured by long suffering for sins, to be cleansed and long purged by fire; another to have purged all sins by suffering. It is one thing, in fine, to be in suspense till the sentence of God at the day of judgment; another to be at once crowned by the Lord. 

- Quoted from Epistle 51, Paragraph 20. This rendering taken from here
 

~300 AD | Liturgy of Addai and Mari: Yes

O Christ, peace of those in heaven and great rest of those below, grant that Your rest and peace may dwell in the four parts of the world, but especially in Your Holy Catholic Church; grant that the priesthood with the government may have peace; cause wars to cease from the ends of the earth, and scatter the nations that delight in wars, that we may enjoy the blessing of living in tranquillity and peace, in all temperance and fear of God. Spare the offenses and sins of the dead, through Your grace and mercies for ever.

- Quoted from Liturgy of Sts. Adaeus and Maris, Section XIV

Dated to third century, between 200-300 AD

~307 AD | Lactantius: ?, but speaks of purgatory

But also, when God will judge the just, it is likewise in fire that he will try them. At that time, they whose sins are uppermost, either because of their gravity or their number, will be drawn together by the fire and will be burned. Those, however, who have been imbued with full justice and maturity of virtue, will not feel that fire; for they have something of God in them which will repel and turn back the strength of the flame

- Quoted from Divine Institutes, Book VII (Of a Happy Life), Chapter 21, Paragraph 2. This rendering taken from here
 

~325 AD | [Arian] Arius: No

[...]dead after their deaths (i.e., in the liturgy)? < If > the living prays or has given alms, how will this benefit the dead? If the prayer of the people here has benefited the people there, no one should practice piety or perform good works! He should get some friends any way he wants, either by bridery or by asking friends on his death bed, and they should pray that he may not suffer in the next life, or be held to account for his heinous sins.

- Quoted from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis: Sects 47-80, De Fide, page 493 (of section VI).
- Unfortunately this is the only spot I've seen an english translation of this piece online, and it is cut off for 'free' viewing. If you purchase the book, you can see the full quote here.
- Note that this is a quote written by Epiphanius around 375 AD about Arius.
Epiphanius asserts that he went beyond Arius in his impieties, specifying four counts...

(3) Prayers and offerings for the dead he regarded as pernicious. If they availed for the departed, no one need trouble himself to live holily: he would only have to provide, by bribes or otherwise, a multitude of prayers and offerings for him, and his salvation was secure.
- Quoted from here. Also mentioned in passing here
- Included due to lack of full quotation in previous source

~350 AD | Cyril of Jerusalem: Yes

Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls , for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.

And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him offense, and then those who belong to them should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins , propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves.

- Quoted from Catechetical Lecture 23, Paragraphs 9-10.
 

~375 AD | Epiphanius: Yes

Furthermore, as to mentioning the names of the dead, how is there anything very useful in that? What is more timely or more excellent than that those who are still here should believe that the departed do live, and that they have not retreated into nothingness, but that they exist and are alive with the Master? And so that this most august proclamation might be told in full, how do they have hope, who are praying for the brethren as if they were but sojourning in a foreign land? Useful too is the prayer fashioned on their behalf, even if it does not force back the whole of guilty charges laid to them. And it is useful also, because in this world we often stumble either voluntarily or involuntarily, and thus it is a reminder to do better. For we make commemoration of the just and of sinners: of sinners, begging God’s mercy for them; of the just and the Fathers and Patriarchs and Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists and martyrs and confessors, and of bishops and solitaries, and of the whole list of them, so that we may set the Lord Jesus Christ apart from the ranks of men because of the honor due Him, and give reverence to Him, while keeping in mind that the Lord is not to be equated with any man, even if that man live in a justice that is boundless and limitless.

- Quoted from Medicine Chest Against All Heresies (Panarion) 75.8. This rendering taken from here
 

~382 AD | Gregory of Nyssa: ?, but speaks of purgatory

If a man distinguish in himself what is peculiarly human from that which is irrational, and if he be on the watch for a life of greater urbanity for himself, in this present life he will purify himself of any evil contracted, overcoming the irrational by reason. If he have inclined to the irrational pressure of the passions, using for the passions the cooperating hide of things irrational, he may afterward in a quite different manner be very much interested in what is better, when, after his departure out of the body, he gains knowledge of the difference between virtue and vice and finds that he is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by the purifying fire

- Quoted from Sermon on the Dead
 

~392 AD | Ambrose: Yes

Blessed are you both, if my prayers will avail aught! No day will you over in silence, no prayer of mine will pass you by unhonored, no night will hurry on its course without you receiving some participation in my prayers. I will repeatedly remember you in all by oblations.

- Quote from On the Death of Valentinian, a Memorial for the deceased Valentinian II
 

~392 AD | John Chrysostom: Yes

Let us then give them aid and perform commemoration for them. For if the children of Job were purged by the sacrifice of their father, why do you doubt that when we too offer for the departed, some consolation arises to them? Since God is wont to grant the petitions of those who ask for others. And this Paul signified saying, that in a manifold Person your gift towards us bestowed by many may be acknowledged with thanksgiving on your behalf.Let us not then be weary in giving aid to the departed, both by offering on their behalf and obtaining prayers for them: for the common Expiation of the world is even before us.

- Quoted from Homily 41 on First Corinthians, Section 8 Paragraph 3
Mourn for those who have died in wealth, and did not from their wealth think of any solace for their soul, who had power to wash away their sins and would not. Let us all weep for these in private and in public, but with propriety, with gravity, not so as to make exhibitions of ourselves; let us weep for these, not one day, or two, but all our life. Such tears spring not from senseless passion, but from true affection. The other sort are of senseless passion. For this cause they are quickly quenched, whereas if they spring from the fear of God, they always abide with us. Let us weep for these; let us assist them according to our power; let us think of some assistance for them, small though it be, yet still let us assist them. How and in what way? By praying and entreating others to make prayers for them, by continually giving to the poor on their behalf. This deed has some consolation; for hear the words of God Himself, when He says, I will defend this city for My own sake, and for My servant David's sake. If the remembrance only of a just man had so great power when deeds are done for one, how great power will it not have? Not in vain did the Apostles order that remembrance should be made of the dead in the dreadful Mysteries. They know that great gain results to them, great benefit; for when the whole people stands with uplifted hands, a priestly assembly, and that awful Sacrifice lies displayed, how shall we not prevail with God by our entreaties for them? And this we do for those who have departed in faith, while the catechumens are not thought worthy even of this consolation, but are deprived of all means of help save one. And what is this? We may give to the poor on their behalf. This deed in a certain way refreshes them. For God wills that we should be mutually assisted; else why has He ordered us to pray for peace and the good estate of the world? Why on behalf of all men? Since in this number are included robbers, violaters of tombs, thieves, men laden with untold crimes; and yet we pray on behalf of all; perchance they may turn. As then we pray for those living, who differ not from the dead, so too we may pray for them.

- Quoted from Homily 3 on Philippians, Section Philippians 1:24, Paragraph 3

<400 AD | Divine Liturgy of Saint James: Yes

O Lord God, who created us, and bring us into life, who hast shown to us ways to salvation, who hast granted to us a revelation of heavenly mysteries, and hast appointed us to this ministry in the power of Your all-holy Spirit, grant, O Sovereign, that we may become servants of Your new testament, ministers of Your pure mysteries, and receive us as we draw near to Your holy altar, according to the greatness of Your mercy, that we may become worthy of offering to You gifts and sacrifices for our transgressions and for those of the people; and grant to us, O Lord, with all fear and a pure conscience to offer to You this spiritual and bloodless sacrifice, and graciously receiving it unto Your holy and spiritual altar above the skies for an odour of a sweet spiritual smell, send down in answer on us the grace of Your all-holy Spirit.

And, O God, look upon us, and have regard to this our reasonable service, and accept it, as You accepted the gifts of Abel, the sacrifices of Noah, the priestly offices of Moses and Aaron, the peace-offerings of Samuel, the repentance of David, the incense of Zacharias. As You accepted from the hand of Your apostles this true service, so accept also in Your goodness from the hands of us sinners these offered gifts; and grant that our offering may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, as a propitiation for our transgressions and the errors of the people; and for the rest of the souls that have fallen asleep aforetime; that we also, Your humble, sinful, and unworthy servants, being counted worthy without guile to serve Your holy altar, may receive the reward of faithful and wise stewards, and may find grace and mercy in the terrible day of Your just and good retribution.

- Quoted from <a href='http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050651.htm'>Divine Liturgy of St. James</a>, Section XXVI
- Dated to fourth century, between 300-400 AD

<400 AD | Liturgy of Saint Mark: Yes

O Lord our God, give peace to the souls of our fathers and brethren who have fallen asleep in Jesus, remembering our forefathers of old, our fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, and the souls of all the holy and just men who have died in the Lord.

Especially remember those whose memory we this day celebrate, and our holy father Mark, the apostle and evangelist, who has shown us the way of salvation.

- Quoted from <a href='http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0718.htm'>Divine Liturgy of St. Mark</a>, Section XIV
- Dated to fourth century, between 300-400 AD
 

~419 AD | Augustine: Yes

Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by ‘some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment

- Quoted from The City of God, Book XXI, Chapter 13. This rendering taken from here
That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire

- Quoted from The Handbook on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 69. This rendering taken from here
The time which interposes between the death of a man and the final resurrection holds souls in hidden retreats, accordingly as each is deserving of rest or of hardship, in view of what it merited when it was living in the flesh. Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead find relief through the piety of their friends and relatives who are still alive, when the Sacrifice of the Mediator [Mass] is offered for them, or when alms are given in the Church. But these things are of profit to those who, when they were alive, merited that they might afterward be able to be helped by these things. There is a certain manner of living, neither so good that there is no need of these helps after death, nor yet so wicked that these helps are of no avail after death

- Quoted from The Handbook on Faith, Hope and Love, Chapter 109-110. This rendering taken from here
But by the prayers of the Holy Church, and by the salvific sacrifice, and by the alms which are given for their spirits, there is no doubt that the dead are aided, that the Lord might deal more mercifully with them than their sins would deserve. The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, then, works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead, but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death

- Quoted from Sermons 172:2. Unable to find complete source online, only this quote found.
There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. It is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended

- Quoted from Sermons 159:1. Unable to find complete source online, only this quote found.
 

~594 AD | Gregory the Great: Yes

Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away.

Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven "either in this world or in the world to come"? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions.

- Quoted from Dialogues, Book 4, Chapter 39. This rendering taken from here
If the sins after death be pardonable, then the sacred oblation of the holy host useth to help men's souls: for which cause the souls sometime, of them that be dead, do desire the same: for Bishop Felix, whom we spake of before, saith that a virtuous Priest, who died some two years since, and dwelt in the diocese of the city of Centumcellis, and was pastor of the church of St. John in the place called Tauriana, told him that himself did use (when he had need) to wash his body in a certain place, in which there were passing hot waters: and that going thither upon a time, he found a certain man whom he knew not, ready to do him service, as to pull off his shoes, take his clothes, and to attend upon him in all dutiful manner. And when he had divers times done thus, the Priest, minding upon a day to go to the baths, began to think with himself that he would not be ungrateful to him that did him such service, but carry him somewhat for a reward, and so he took with him two singing breads: and coming thither he found the man there ready, and used his help as he was wont to do: and when he had washed himself, put on his clothes, and was ready to depart, he offered him for an holy reward that which he had brought, desiring him to take that courteously, which for charity he did give him. Then with a sad countenance, and in sorrowful manner, he spake thus unto him: "Why do you give me these, father? This is holy bread, and I cannot eat of it, for I, whom you see here, was sometime lord of these baths, and am now after my death appointed for my sins to this place: but if you desire to pleasure me, offer this bread unto almighty God, and be an intercessor for my sins: and by this shall you know that your prayers be heard, if at your next coming you find me not here." And as he was speaking these words, he vanished out of his sight: so that he, which before seemed to be a man, shewed by that manner of departure that he was a spirit. The good Priest all the week following gave himself to tears for him, and daily offered up the holy sacrifice: and afterward returning to the bath, found him not there: whereby it appeareth what great profit the souls receive by the sacrifice of the holy oblation, seeing the spirits of them that be dead desire it of the living, and give certain tokens to let us understand how that by means thereof they have received absolution.

- Quoted from [http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_04_dialogues_book4.htm#C55 Dialogues, Book 4, Chapter 55.

~1274 | Thomas Aquinas: Yes

Moreover, the dead live in the memory of the living: wherefore the intention of the living can be directed to them. Hence the suffrages of the living profit the dead in two ways even as they profit the living, both on account of the bond of charity and on account of the intention being directed to them. Nevertheless, we must not believe that the suffrages of the living profit them so as to change their state from unhappiness to happiness or "vice versa"; but they avail for the diminution of punishment or something of the kind that involves no change in the state of the dead.

- Quoted from Question 71. The suffrages for the dead, Article 2
 

1544 AD | [Lutheran] Martin Luther: Yes

Now since it is uncertain and no one knows, whether final judgment has been passed upon these souls, it is not sin if you pray for them; but in this way, that you let it rest in uncertainty and speak thus: Dear God, if the departed souls be in a state that they may yet be helped, then I pray that thou wouldst be gracious.

- Quoted from Martin Luther’s Original Church Postil 1544, First Sunday after Trinity (The Rich Man & Lazarus), Paragraph 29
... we know that the ancients speak of prayer for the dead, which we do not prohibit; but we disapprove of the application ex opere operato of the Lord's Supper on behalf of the dead.

- Quoted from The Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Book of Concord, Article XXIV (XII): Of the Mass, Section 94 [~1580 AD]
Note that this has since changed in the Lutheran Church, and the modern day Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod as well as the Lutheran denomination WELS state that they do NOT pray for the souls of the dead.

- Quote from here

~1750 AD | [Methodist] John Wesley: Yes

I believe it to be a duty to observe to pray for the Faithful Departed.

- Quoted from here and here

1964 AD | [Anglican] C. S. Lewis: Yes

Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to Him?

On the traditional Protestant view, all the dead are damned or saved. If they are damned, prayer for them is useless. If they are saved, it is equally useless. God has already done all for them. What more should we ask?

But don't we believe that God has already done and is already doing all that He can for the living? What more should we ask? Yet we are told to ask.

"Yes," it will be answered, "but the living are still on the road. Further trials, developments, possibilities of error, await them. But the saved have been made perfect. They have finished the course. To pray for them presupposes that progress and difficulty are still possible. In fact, you are bringing in something like Purgatory."

[...] I believe in Purgatory.

Mind you, the Reformers had good reasons for throwing doubt on "the Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory" as that Romish doctrine had then become. I don't mean merely the commercial scandal. If you turn from Dante's Purgatorio to the Sixteenth Century you will be appalled by the degradation. In Thomas More's Supplication of Souls Purgatory is simply temporary Hell. In it the souls are tormented by devils, whose presence is "more horrible and grievous to us than is the pain itself." Worse still, Fisher, in his Sermon on Psalm VI, says the tortures are so intense that the spirit who suffers them cannot, for pain, "remember God as he ought to do." In fact, the very etymology of the word purgatory has dropped out of sight. Its pains do not bring us nearer to God, but make us forget Him. It is a place not of purification but purely of retributive punishment.

Our souls demand Purgatory, don't they? Would it not break the heart if God said to us, "It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy."? Should we not reply, "With submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I'd rather be cleaned first." "It may hurt, you know"--"Even so, sir."

- Quoted from LETTERS TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER, Letter 20
- Published posthumously