Worship & Devotion

Worship & Devotion
Find out how you can participate in the Year of Mercy.

How to Participate in the Year of Mercy

After Baptism, the initial Sacrament of Mercy, our Merciful Lord offers us the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Confession for regularly encountering His Mercy. We dispose ourselves for the encounters with Mercy by the daily recollected living of our Holy Faith. This impels us to assist at the Holy Mass and Confession, the regular encounters of Mercy. Having encountered our Lord’s Mercy, we are strengthened to express our lives of Mercy by doing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.

Click here to find a Parish Church near you and the times for Holy Mass and Confessions.

On September 1, 2015, our Holy Father Pope Francis encouraged the Church to make pilgrimage during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year and has given the Church an opportunity to receive the Jubilee Indulgence.  But what is a pilgrimage?  What is an indulgence?  Read on to discover more.

What is a Pilgrimage?

Put simply, a pilgrimage is a journey to a designated holy place for the purpose of veneration or, in some cases, penance.  Read more on what Pope Francis has to say about a pilgrimage in Bull of Indiction, Misericordiae Vultus.  

Include in your pilgrimage of Mercy: Sunday Mass; frequent Confession; daily Mass readings, spiritual reading, and the rosary; living the beatitudes, the commandments and the works of mercy. We suggest that each home have a Catholic Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a prominent place for regular study.

What is an Indulgence?

In the Catechism, we read: " An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity."

How does one receive the Jubilee Indulgence?

To gain the jubilee indulgence you must:

1. Cross through a Holy Door or Door of Mercy.
2. Stop in prayer and pray the Profession of Faith.*
3. Fulfill the usual conditions for any indulgenced work:

a.) Detachment from sin, even venial sin.
b.) An "Our Father" for the intentions of the Holy Father.
c.) Receive Holy Communion within 20 days before or after the work.
d.) Celebrate the Sacrament of Penance within 20 days before or after the work.

*It is suggested, but not required, to recite the Jubilee Prayer of Pope Francis and conclude with an invocation to the merciful Lord Jesus (for example, "Merciful Jesus I trust in you").


What if you cannot make a pilgrimage?

What should we do for our loved ones who are sick, elderly, or home-bound and simply cannot make a pilgrimage?  The Holy Father offers wonderful considerations for those who may not be able to make pilgrimage.  We read in hisLetter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella: "Additionally, I am thinking of those for whom, for various reasons, it will be impossible to enter the Holy Door, particularly the sick and people who are elderly and alone, often confined to the home. For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence."

What if you are imprisoned?

Again our Holy Father Francis offers further considerations for those who are incarcerated:  "My thoughts also turn to those incarcerated, whose freedom is limited. The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked and sincerely wish to re-enter society and make their honest contribution to it. May they all be touched in a tangible way by the mercy of the Father who wants to be close to those who have the greatest need of his forgiveness. They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of  directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom."

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Among all Christian devotions, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will undoubtedly play a special role during the great Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Given to St. Faustina Kowalska in 1935, Christ appeared to the saint and asked that she pray the chaplet and instruct others to do so.

The chaplet's prayers for mercy are threefold: to obtain mercy, to trust in Christ's mercy, and to show mercy to others. St. Faustina wrote that Jesus promised that all who recite this chaplet at the hour of death or in the presence of the dying will receive great mercy.

Learn How To Pray the Chaplet