The Diocese of Nottingham’s celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy began joyfully when a large congregation gathered in Saint Barnabas’ Cathedral in Nottingham on Tuesday 8th December for an uplifting liturgy to mark the beginning of the Jubilee.
Some 100 priests and over 500 representatives of parishes, chaplaincies, religious houses and schools from across the East Midlands were present, and many more watched a live stream of the Mass on the Diocese’s Jubilee website, www.bemerciful.co.uk
In his homily, Bishop Patrick McKinney explained the importance of the Holy Door that he had opened at the beginning of Mass:
Today, here in this Cathedral, in response to Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Holy Doors of mercy have been opened and blessed. May our walking through them, and other ‘Doors of Mercy’ in other parts of our Diocese this Jubilee Year, be an expression of our deeper desire, not to hide from God because of our sins, but instead, to open our own lives more and more to God’s mercy, especially in the healing sacrament of Reconciliation. May they also be doors through which we go out into the world as ambassadors of God’s mercy and compassion, bearing witness to his mercy in the way we try to live our lives and relate to others!
Everyone present was given a prayer card, featuring an image of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and a wristband, with the seven corporal works of mercy written on them. These express the two aspects of the Jubilee, that we should seek the mercy of God, by repentance and seeking reconciliation with God and our neighbour, and show the mercy of God by living the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
The Mass, which began with a procession to the Cathedral through the Holy Door, featured both traditional choral music and contemporary worship music, a reminder of the breadth and depth of the Catholic tradition, prayers read by students from the Becket Catholic School in Nottingham and the reading of part of Pope Francis’ bull of indiction, Misericordiae vultus. A collection was taken to support the work of Emmanuel House, a charity that supports the homeless in the City of Nottingham.