How to obtain the Jubilee Indulgence?
The Holy Father has asked that special indulgences be available for the Faithful throughout the Year of Mercy.
In his letter, Pope Francis explains how to obtain indulgence. Of course, the first way is to undertake a pilgrimage to Rome, to the Holy Door or to one of the four Papal Basilicas in the Italian capital. But the Holy Door will also be opened “in every Cathedral and in several churches chosen by the diocesan bishop”, in all “Sanctuaries with a Door of Mercy and in all Jubilee churches”.
St Marie's Cathedral in Sheffield is a Jubilee Church with a Holy Door of Mercy. Going through this Holy Door is a spiritual journey that shows, as the Holy Father said, "the deep desire for true conversion."
In addition to passing through the Holy Door, each pilgrim is to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receive the Holy Eucharist while reflecting on God's great gift of mercy, make a profession of faith (recite either the Apostles' or the Nicene Creed), and pray for the Holy Father and for his intentions (an Our Father and a Hail Mary are recommended).
For those who are elderly, confined and the ill, Pope Francis said that they may obtain the indulgence by "living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial" and by receiving the Eucharist or by attending Mass and community prayer, "even through the various means of communication" (for instance, a Mass offered on television). For those in prison, they may obtain the indulgence in their prison chapels.
Indulgences may be obtained for the dead by the carrying out of these same acts by the Faithful with the intention of offering the indulgence for someone who is deceased.
And finally, for all Catholics, this jubilee indulgence may also be obtained when a member of the Faithful personally performs a spiritual or corporal work of mercy.
What is a jubilee year?
A jubilee refers to a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. The Catholic Church has called jubilee years every 25 or 50 years since the year 1300 and has also called special jubilee years from time to time, known as extraordinary jubilee years. The last jubilee year was held in 2000 during the papacy of Saint John Paul II and was known as “the Great Jubilee.” The last extraordinary jubilee year was held in 1983 to celebrate 1,950 years since the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Holy Door of Mercy in Sheffield
The Jubilee Year was inaugurated in St Marie's Cathedral with the opening of the Door of Mercy on Saturday, December 12 2015. Bishop Ralph led a solemn procession that began at St Matthews in Carver Street.
The Holy Door of Mercy in Rome
Pope Francis opened the first Holy Door of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Dec. 8 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy.
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis
I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God. Pope Francis.