“Christian families, make the threshold of your homes a sign of the Door of Mercy and welcome from God.” –Pope Francis, 11.18.15
The Jubilee of Families, one of the moments of the year-long Jubilee of Mercy, will take place on Sunday December 27, 2015, the feast of the Holy Family.
Here are some resources and suggestions, for your family, for the Jubilee day of December 27 — or for any other time during the Jubilee year.
Resources from the Vatican
The Pontifical Council for the Family has prepared a brief resource for families to use as they enter through the Holy Door in their diocese. This resource includes quotes from Pope Francis’s Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy for families to reflect on. It also provides an opportunity for the family to express their gratitude to each other, invites family members to offer and seek forgiveness from each other, and finishes with a family commitment to serve the poor when returning home. The text is available as a PDF in English here and in Spanish here. (Note that this ritual could be used at any point during the Jubilee of Mercy.)
Suggestions from the U.S. Catholic Bishops
- Go to confession as a family. (Visit this page for resources on preparing for and understanding the Sacrament of Penance.)
- Pray together one of the great penitential psalms, like Psalm 51 or Psalm 143. Listen, along with reflections, at this page.
- Learn about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Discuss as a family which works of mercy are the most difficult, the most appealing, etc. Decide as a family on one work of mercy to do together during the Jubilee of Mercy.
- Read the monthly Meditations On Mercyprovided by the USCCB.
- Have each family member to seek and receive forgiveness from other family. Pope Francis calls the word “I’m sorry” one of the three “magic words” in a family’s life (along with “thank you” and “may I”); from his audience of 4.2.14.
- Spend time in prayer for a relationship that needs forgiveness and healing, asking the Holy Spirit for insight on how to reconcile with that person.
- Read this article about forgiveness together — then discuss it.
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