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National Catholic Jubilee Sunday
NATIONAL CATHOLIC JUBILEE SUNDAY
The Catholic Bishops of Australia have designated Trinity Sunday which falls next Sunday (18th) as the occasion when Catholics throughout Australia celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ by joining together in sharing a special Eucharist and prayers for our nation.
Many parishes/dioceses will choose to celebrate one Eucharist on this day and invite all members of the parish community to participate in this special jubilee celebration. Some will choose an outside location, others a school hall or the parish church to accommodate the large numbers.
It would be most effective to herald the jubilee message with the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) or a trumpet blast followed by the proclamation of the well-known Leviticus jubilee text from a scroll. The entrance procession would then follow with the people moving through a jubilee archway or door singing a jubilee song.
The prayers and readings for the eucharist are those for Trinity Sunday. The recommended liturgical texts provided for the occasion include a special penitential rite, general intercessions and a solemn blessing. The latter draws together the themes of Trinity and Jubilee in an Australian context:
May the God of Creation who formed our southern land draw us to the sacred places that refresh and renew us. Amen.
May Jesus who lived and proclaimed the jubilee inspire us to work for peace and justice in our world. Amen.
May the spirit who journeys with us in this ancient land fill our hearts with reconciling love for one another. Amen.
It would be appropriate to include a eucharistic prayer vigil as part of parish celebrations. The eve of Trinity Sunday is an ideal time for a period of eucharistic adoration as it marks the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Rome.
Parishes might invite all members of the community to recite a jubilee prayer in their Sunday Eucharist each week as a means of praying together for the outpouring of God’s grace. This prayer could change each week or remain the same and be included in the newsletter or printed on a card. Families could be encouraged to say the prayer each night at the dinner table.
The Prayer of Commitment to be recited after communion challenges us to live out the jubilee:
United with all Christiansin this Great Southland of the Holy Spiritwe commit ourselves in this Year of Great Jubilee: to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ,to strive for personal holiness,to live and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ,to promote the unity of all Christians,to work with all Australians for peace and justiceand to protect the world that God has created,a world so loved by Godthat the Son took flesh two thousand years ago and dwells among us– Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and for ever!