Saturday, April 11, 2015


Pope Francis presides at the celebration of the First Vespers of the Divine Mercy Sunday, with the publication of the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy. A Papal Bull is a letter or announcement from the Pope to the Catholic world so called because a lead BULLA or SEAL was attached to the Pope's edict by a cord. Here is the Bulla of indiction!

Here is the homily in English for Solemn Sung Evening Prayer:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The greeting of the Risen Christ to his disciples on the evening of Easter, “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19), continues to resound in us all.  Peace, especially during this Easter season, remains the desire of so many people who suffer unprecedented violence of discrimination and death simply because they bear the name “Christian”.  Our prayer is all the more intense and becomes a cry for help to the Father, who is rich in mercy, that he may sustain the faith of our many brothers and sisters who are in pain.  At the same time, we ask for the grace of the conversion of our own hearts so as to move from indifference to compassion.

Saint Paul reminds us that we have been saved through the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  He is the Reconciler, who is alive in our midst offering the way to reconciliation with God and with each other.  The Apostle recalls that, notwithstanding the difficulties and the sufferings of life, the hope of salvation which Christ has sown in our hearts nonetheless continues to grow.  The mercy of God is poured out upon us, making us just and giving us peace.

            Many question in their hearts: why a Jubilee of Mercy today?  Simply because the Church, in this time of great historical change, is called to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.  This is not the time to be distracted; on the contrary, we need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential.  This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy (cf. Jn 20:21-23).

For this reason, the Holy Year must keep alive the desire to know how to welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love.  A Holy Year to experience strongly within ourselves the joy of having been found by Jesus, the Good Shepherd who has come in search of us because we were lost.  A Jubilee to receive the warmth of his love when he bears us upon his shoulders and brings us back to the Father’s house.  A year in which to be touched by the Lord Jesus and to be transformed by his mercy, so that we may become witnesses to mercy.

  Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy.  It is the favourable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.

May the Mother of God open our eyes, so that we may comprehend the task to which we have been called; and may she obtain for us the grace to experience this Jubilee of Mercy as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.


Rood Screen said...

By the way, this is the best photograph I've seen of your church, Father McDonald.

Anonymous said...

I think the first time I have seen this pope wearing a cope---seems to be a vestment more common in Anglicanism, like at royal weddings, but I suppose not a vestment normally associated with the Mass.

On different note, wonder if there is a clergy shortage here in Atlanta this weekend because of th Masters? Had Archbishop Gregory celebrating Mass at our cathedral, unusual for a Saturday afternoon 4:00 Mass. I asked him if the Cathedral's clergy were down at the Masters, leaving him alone at his home church?!?!?

John Nolan said...

The Pope wears a cope when presiding at Vespers and at processions before and after Mass (e.g. Palm Sunday and Corpus Christi); he also wore it at the consistories he has held.

Anglicans can wear the cope when celebrating the Eucharist; they only readopted the chasuble in the 19th century and then illicitly. Cathedral canons are often coped when their Catholic counterparts would be in choir dress. It is common in the OF funeral Mass for the priest to retain the chasuble for the absolutions, final commendation and burial. This is a somewhat dubious practice; in the EF the priest changes into a cope as soon as the Mass itself ends.

It is permissible for a layman to wear a cope over choir dress if he is acting as a cantor at Vespers in either the newer or the older form. I have recently done so on two occasions. Before the 'monstrous regiment' get any ideas the key word is cantor (pl. cantores) and not cantrix (pl. cantrices) and the role does not involve standing facing the congregation waving one's arms about.