EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY AND
THE RITES OF CLOSING AND OPENING THE HOLY DOOR OF MERCY

Pope Francis has proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, to begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, 2015 and end on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20th, 2016.   Pope Francis has asked that all cathedrals of the world celebrate the Closing and, later, the Opening of the Holy Door.  In the history of the Church, the Rite of Closing of the Holy Door is celebrated, and after a brief period, the Rite of Opening of the Holy Door is celebrated to begin a Year of Jubilee. 

The celebration of the rite calls our attention to Jesus who is the Door. To understand and appreciate the rites of the church, we look to the words prayed during the rite.  Following is an excerpt from the Introduction to the Rite:   “… a holy door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ.  Jesus is the Door!  In the words of Pope Francis, ‘There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Psalm 118:20).”                

Many sacramental rituals begin at the door of the church.  Here, the priest or deacon welcomes parents as they bring a child for baptism; here, the bride and groom are greeted as they begin the wedding liturgy; here, the priest greets the catechumens at the Rite of Acceptance; and finally, here, the priest greets the casket and family of the deceased at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.  

On Sunday, October 25th, Bishop Steib presided at the 10:00 a.m. Mass, celebrating the Closing of the Holy Door as Mass began.  The door designated in our cathedral is the inside, west door in the narthex.  The day designated for the Opening of the Holy Door in all cathedrals of the world is Sunday, December 13th.  We will celebrate that rite, with Bishop Steib presiding, at the 10:00 a.m. Mass.  

During this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we are reminded to keep open the doors of our hearts in order to hear God’s invitation for each of us to receive God’s mercy, and to be merciful in all of our interaction with others.  

 To read more about the Year of Mercy, it's meaning and to follow the opening of the Holy Doors in Rome, GO HERE.

 


Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter is official, it is entitled LAUDATO SI. The title springs from the Canticle of St. Francis: “Laudato si, mi signore” (Praise be to you, my Lord).

The Encyclical Letter

Map of the Encyclical

Summary of the Encyclical

Questions and Answers