How to celebrate Mercy Sunday
The Feast of Divine Mercy
This feast is intended to celebrate and proclaim God’s tender mercy which is available to all who turn to Him with trust. The floodgates of God’s mercy are opened.
God in His great mercy is giving us all a chance to start over with complete pardon of sin and punishment.
Preparing ourselves for Divine Mercy Sunday. We promise, by the sacrament of reconciliation, to focus on God’s mercy which is love and more powerful than evil, sin, and death.
We give a whole-hearted confession holding nothing back from Our Lord.
The Feast of Divine Mercy
The institution of the feast was requested by Jesus in 1931, while communicating His will during the painting of the Image of The Divine Mercy:
The Lord Speaks:
“I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.” (Diary 49)
Our Lord Speaks:
“Whoever approaches the Fount of Life (Holy Communion) on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."
Through the feast of mercy all is washed clean. It’s like being baptized again. Complete pardon of all sin and punishment. No purgatory time! The graces received on this day our similar to baptismal graces
What is a Feast?
The church commemorates (honors) Jesus or our Lady or a Saint on special days known as Feasts. The Feast of Divine Mercy is a celebration of God’s mercy.
Why do we need Divine Mercy Sunday?
“Your sins and my sins” is the short answer! Mercy Sunday brings us Our Lord’s promise of an “ocean of graces” for souls, “especially for poor sinners,” and each of us as sinners most abundantly need the graces of the risen Christ to wash away those sins. Even those of us who are striving for holiness need deeper conversion and renewal. Sin is the problem, Divine Mercy is the answer. We would be foolish to ignore God’s gracious offer.
What do you mean by the outpouring of graces on this day?
Our Lord told Faustina His desire to flood us with His graces on that particular day.
Our Lord Speaks:
“This feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy and it is confirmed in the vast depths of My tender mercies.” (Diary 420)... It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter... I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day, the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy.” (Holy Communion) (Diary 699)
What is grace?
Grace is God sharing His life with us, so when there is an outpouring of grace, God is sharing an abundance of His life.
Veneration of the image
The image of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, is to have a special place of honor on the Feast of Mercy—as a visual reminder of what Jesus has given us through His passion and death.
Venerating the Image of the Merciful Savior
One purpose of the image is to remind us that we become living images of God’s mercy, living icons of mercy
We are being called to be washed clean in Jesus’s love through confession and Holy Communion. No matter how terrible our sins may be, we can begin our lives again.
To receive this extraordinary abundance of Grace, we must receive Holy Communion on the actual day of the Feast of Divine Mercy, unless there are grave conditions beyond our control (for example: military service, severely ill or in prison). The best scenario for confession would be to go on the actual Feast day…Second during Holy Week, third during Lent. It would be acceptable after the actual Feast day to go to confession due to conditions beyond your control. (Ex. war, sickness, elderly, prison, lack of time for priests to hear all confessions) Refer to Plenary Indulgence page when you are under these conditions.
Remember there is usually a large crowd for the Divine Mercy celebration and there may not be enough priests to hear confessions that day. You are strongly encouraged to receive this sacrament prior to the Sunday celebration.
To profit from those great gifts, we must: fulfill the conditions of the Divine Mercy devotion (Trust in God’s goodness and active Love toward neighbor), be in the state of Sanctifying Grace (having gone to Holy Confession), and worthily receiving Holy Communion.
The message of Divine Mercy can be capsulized in the ABCs of Mercy.
A - Ask for His Mercy B - Be merciful C - Completely trust in Jesus Only within the framework of the ABCs of Mercy do the devotions of Divine Mercy find their purpose.
Observing the Feast of Mercy Sunday:
1.Celebrate the Feast on the Sunday after Easter. 2.Sincerely repent of all sins 3.Place complete trust in Jesus 4.Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday due to big crowds
5.Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast if possible 6.Venerate the image of The Divine Mercy 7.Be merciful to others through actions, words, and prayers
Excerpts taken from The Diary of Sr Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in my Soul copyright 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263, all world rights reserved; reprinted with permission. Scripture quotations from the St. Joseph New American Bible Copyright ©2000 by Life and Mercy Copy of the Vilnius image, restored by Life Foundation, copyright congregations of Marians Stockbridge MA, 01262. All writings were reviewed by Father Deville who is the spiritual advisor to the Divine Mercy Messenger.