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This is still done, apparently. I thought it had been done away with centuries ago, along with paying for "Indulgences". But no, my father in Law needed to be taken to church today, to arrange for the priest to dedicate a mass to my mother in law, who died a couple of years ago. He pays the priest to do this. She's in purgatory (whatever that is - it's not clear) and paying for a mass and praying for her might get her out quicker.

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