EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY
THE RITES OF CLOSING AND OPENING THE HOLY DOOR OF
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
“… 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).”
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.
This Sunday, October
25th, Bishop Steib will
preside at the 10:00 a.m. Mass, celebrating the Closing of the Holy Door as
Weather permitting, we will gather outdoors at the main entrance on Central
Avenue and in the narthex as the Holy Door is sealed. The door designated
in our cathedral is the inside, west door in the narthex. After the door
is blessed and sealed, all will process into the Cathedral.
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.
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.