Corporal and spiritual works of mercy
Corporal and spiritual works of mercy are acts performed for the benefit of other persons as an expression of the virtue of charity. They are a requirement of the Christian worship of God (Matthew 25:31-46 1 John 3:17-22).
The classic enumeration of them is seven corporal (physical) works of mercy and seven spiritual (social, non-corporal) works of mercy.
- 1 Corporal works of mercy
- 2 Spiritual works of mercy
- 3 Prayer for the dead as a work of mercy: Doctrinal differences
- 4 Good works in Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam
- 5 References
- 6 Bibliography
Corporal works of mercy
- feed the hungry
- give drink to the thirsty
- clothe the naked
- shelter the homeless
- visit the sick and imprisoned
- ransom (rescue) the captive
- bury the dead
Spiritual works of mercy
- instruct the ignorant
- advise the doubtful
- correct sinners
- be patient with those in error or who do wrong
- forgive offenses
- comfort the afflicted
- pray for the living and the dead
Prayer for the dead as a work of mercy: Doctrinal differences
Judaism: prayer for the departed soul
In accordance with an ancient tradition over 2,000 years old, since before the time of Christ, and to the present day, devout Jews offer prayers for their dead: Prayer for the Soul of the Departed - Kel Maleh Rachamim. See Kaddish.
Orthodox and Catholic Bible Doctrine
Islam: Du'a prayers for the righteous deadIn the Quran, God prohibits all believers from offering prayers for the disbelievers or idol worshippers regardless of whether they are dead or alive:
"Neither the prophet, nor those who believe shall ask forgiveness for the idol worshippers, even if they were their nearest of kin, once they realise that they are destined for Hell." 9:113If they died as disbelievers or idol worshippers nothing and no prayer can change their fate:
"With regard to those who have deserved the retribution, can you save those who are already in Hell?" 39:19 For the righteous dead the devout Moslem can ask God in prayer to
"forgive and have mercy upon him, excuse him and pardon him, and make honorable his reception. Expand his entry, and cleanse him with water, snow, and ice, and purify him of sin as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange his home for a better home, and his family for a better family, and his spouse for a better spouse. Admit him into the Garden, protect him from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire." Du'a 
Protestantism: unbiblical superstition
Good works in Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam
Martin Luther: good works to gain Heaven are dangerousAbout good works in general, Martin Luther said that doing good is more dangerous than sinning:
"Those pious souls who do good to gain the Kingdom of Heaven not only will never succeed, but they must even be reckoned among the impious; and it is more important to guard them against good works than against sin." 
Vatican II: formation of the faithfulVatican II states:
"In various seasons of the year and according to her traditional discipline, the Church completes the formation of the faithful by means of pious practices for soul and body, by instruction, prayer, and works of penance and of mercy." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 105 )
Jewish Tzedakah: the mitzvot
Tzedakah: The performance of good works of merciful charity is a demand of Judaism and a central tenet of Jewish life, also called mitzvot (singular, mitzvah, commandments).
The Qur'an: compassionate mercy
- Catholic Encyclopedia. Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (newadvent.org)
- Kel Maleh Rachamim - Prayer for the Soul of the Departed
Jewish Encyclopedia. Prayers to and of the dead (jewishencyclopedia.com) Part of the article Jewish Encyclopedia: Death, views and customs concerning
Judaism 101: Life, Death and Mourning (chabad.org)
Is it okay to ask a deceased tzaddik to pray on my behalf? By Tzvi Freeman (chabad.org)
My Jewish Learning. Kaddish, a Memorial Prayer in Praise of God: The Kaddish is recited in a prayer service, on a daily or weekly basis, after the death of a close relative. By Rabbi Joseph Telushkin (myjewishlearning.com)
- Prayers for the Dead (A Quranic Perspective) - Quran-Islam.org - True Islam (quran-islam.org)
- Duaas from the Hadith. Duaas for the Graves and Funerals (sites.google.com)
Invocations for the dead in the Funeral prayer (islamawareness.net)
The Charitable And Sending Of Good Deeds To The Dead (al-islam.org)
- See the following:
- Beggars All. Reformation and Apologetics. Saturday, November 10, 2012, Luther's Prayers for the Dead (beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com)
- The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Christian Cyclopedia. Dead, prayers for (cyclopedia.lcms.org)
- Sunday, November 22, 2009. Prayer for the Dead: Lutheran Pastor (LCMS) Defends it from Scripture, Citing the Pauline Example of Onesiphorus (socrates58.blogspot.com)
- Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volume 1 Jean Calvin (Google eBook). Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921 - Reformed Church - 112 pages Chapter V, page 613 (books.google.com)
- The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801.
Article XXII. Of Purgatory. The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God. (anglicansonline.org)
- Tischreden, Wittenberg Edition, Vol. VI., p. 160
, quoted by Father Patrick O'Hare, in The Facts About Luther.
(Works by Luther, Earliest editions, Wittenberg edition. Nineteen volumes published between 1539-1558. Twelve volumes of German and seven volumes of Latin works.) See—
- Facts About Luther, Rev. Msgr. Patrick F. O'Hare LL. D. Published by TAN Books. ISBN 10: 0895553228 ISBN 13: 9780895553225. This text is available complete in pdf download format from several online sites.
- Luther Quotes, Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546), By Raymond Taouk (dividingword.net) direct citations from Luther's works, sources cited.
- Concerning Christian Liberty, by Martin Luther (1520) Translation by R. S. Grignon Part 3 Conclusion of the Treatise (projectwittenberg.org)
- Luther, Exposing the Myth (catholicapologetics.info)
- False Religions. The Truth About Martin Luther, Dr. Max D. Younce, Th.D. (jesus-is-savior.com) Evangelical point of view.
- Beggars All. Reformation & Apologetics. Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Father O'Hare's "Facts About Luther" Revisited (beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com)
- Martin Luther On Good Works, by The Rev. Gregory S. Neal (revneal.org)
- Project Wittenberg Selected Works of Martin Luther 1483 - 1546
- Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963 (vatican.va)
- Tzedakah: More than Charity (judaism.about.com)
Judaism 101. Tzedakah: Charity
My Jewish Learning. Mitzvot: A Mitzvah Is a Commandment
List of the 613 Mitzvot
- Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran, Posted by Zia Shah (themuslimtimes.org)
- The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert C. Broderick, Virginia Broderick, illustrator. Thomas Nelson Inc, publishers, Nashville, New York. Copyright © 1976 by Robert C. Broderick. page 383b. ISBN 0-8407-5096-X.
- The Sixteen Documents of Vatican II, Introductions by Douglas G. Bushman. S.T.L., General Editor Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP, Copyright © 1999, Daughters of St. Paul, Pauline Books & Media, 50 St. Pauls Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3491. page 76. ISBN 0-8198-7018-8.