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Prayers from the Early Church for Souls in hell.

The traditional teaching of the Church as found in the Catechism must, of course, always be referrred to.
It is interesting to note that there is evidence that the Catholic Church prayed for the release of souls from hell in the very early centuries and the following is an example of a prayer offered from that period.

St Basil the Great [329-379] wrote in his Third Kneeling Prayer at Pentecost:

"O Christ our God...(who) on this all perfect and saving Feast, art graciously
pleased to account propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in
hades, promising unto us who are held in bondage great hope of release
from the vileness that doth hinder us and did hinder them ...send down
Thy consolation...and establish their souls in the mansions of the Just;
and graciously vouchsafe unto them peace and pardon; for not the dead
shall praise thee, O Lord, neither shall they who are in hell make bold to
offer unto thee confession. But we who are living will bless them, and will
pray, and offer unto thee propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls."

And an ancient homily of the Catholic Church for Easter Saturday, quoted in the Catechism, is as follows:

"He who is their God and the Son of Eve...'I am your God, who for your
sake have become your son....I order you, O Sleeper, to awake. I did not
create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of
the dead." [CCC 635].

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