On behalf of NORES and the Liturgy Commission, Mgr Kevin McGinnell suggested the following possibilities for celebration of the Year of Mercy in our Diocese
December 8, 2015 – Cathedral celebration : the Diocesan feast day (Immaculate Conception). Mass at 7pm. In the presence of a packed-out congregation, Bishop Peter opened the Cathedral Holy Door. More here. ... The Bishop's Homily preached at this Mass is here.
December 13 – Holy Door opened by Bishop at Gerrards Cross.
St Joseph's Parish at Gerrards Cross has energetically entered into its role as a Year of Mercy pilgrimage destination and has produced a booklet guiding pilgrims around its Stations, and the Church, available for visiting groups.
(An article by Mgr McGinnell on the topic of Holy Doors is here.)
Lent 2016 - February 10 – 24 March : especially “24 Hours for the Lord,” [4th-5th March 2016] to focus on Reconciliation. Bishop Peter visited each Pastoral Area for a Penitential Service.
12th November 2016 - Bishop Peter celebrated the ending of the Year of Mercy with closing of the Holy Doors and Mass at St Joseph's, Gerrards Cross (5:30pm), and then at the Cathedral, Sunday 13th, 10:30am.
20th November 2016 - Solemnity of Christ the King – Pope Francis solemnly closed the Door of Mercy at St Peter's Basilica in Rome, while proclaiming that the spiritual doors of mercy and reconciliation should always remain open. This was the formal / international ending of the Year of Mercy. )
* * * * * * * * *
Resources for parishes for celebration of Reconciliation :
- Rites 1 and 2, and Penitential Services
- pastoral area celebrations and teaching on the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- publishing times of confessions across an area, and languages available
- developing the plan to resource the preparation for First Reconciliation (which was the next step for the group on Sacramental Initiation review anyway).
- suggested day(s) for clergy et al, on the theology of reconciliation and the sacrament
Produce Jubilee Mercy banners to go outside churches/schools with the logo etc (done - available from NORES)
In homes : encourage the idea of holy water by the front door (a domestic “holy door” – [Psalm 120(121):8 – “The Lord will guard your going and coming now and forever”] and the use daily use of the simple Act of Contrition - perhaps a diocesan prayer card for the year
The Corporal Works of Mercy are traditionally listed as:
- to feed the hungry,
- give drink to the thirsty,
- clothe the naked,
- welcome the stranger,
- heal the sick,
- visit the imprisoned,
- and bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:
- to counsel the doubtful,
- instruct the ignorant,
- admonish sinners,
- comfort the afflicted,
- forgive offences,
- bear patiently those who do us ill,
- and pray for the living and the dead.
We invite all those, in groups, organisations and charities, whose role is to undertake one or more of these works, to contribute reflections on their activities in the context of what Pope Francis has said about Mercy in his document.