Mercy Door Open for Six30 Holy Hour
You may have heard about the Extraordinary Year of Mercy that Pope Francis declared from 15th December 2015 and until the 20th November 2016. This is a special time in our Church to focus on the Mercy of God and to grow more merciful to others. There are many resources available to young people and youth groups who want to find out more about the Year of Mercy - see here for our AOY resource.
Pope Francis has opened up the Jubilee door at St Peter's Basilica in Rome and has asked every Archdiocese to designate Holy Doors for pilgrims to walk through during this year. He has declared that anyone who makes a pilgrimage to any of the specific pilgrimage
sites during the Jubilee Year and fulfills the necessary conditions can obtain a
plenary indulgence. There are several Mercy doors in the Melbourne Archdiocese, including one at St Patrick's Cathedral.
Until the end of the Year of Mercy, the Mercy Door at St Patrick's Cathedral will be open from 6.30-7.30pm on Thursday evenings. This is to coincide with the regular Six30 Holy Hour and to allow an opportunity for youth groups to make a pilgrimage through the Holy Doors. We hope that this will help us all enter further into mercy and the Year of Mercy.
Pope Francis shares that he hopes this Jubilee will be a chance for all to experience a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God. He also explains that “To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door ... as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion ... It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy.”
An indulgence is a gift from the treasury of graces possessed by the Church. The Pope has extended to everyone who passes through a Holy Door, the opportunity to receive the Jubilee Indulgence, a plenary indulgence. A plenary indulgence is the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. In addition to prayerfully crossing through the Holy Door, the Pope has established five conditions to be met in order to receive this indulgence:
- You must be in a state of grace.
- You must go to Confession within about 20 days.
- You must receive Holy Communion within about 20 days.
- You must make a Profession of Faith and pray for the intentions of the Pope (typically one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.).
- You must have “the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin”.
Those attending Holy Hour are asked to enter through the Doors of Mercy of the Cathedral rather than the usual side entrance. This is the set of doors just to the left of the usual entrance (same side).