Objective: The objective of this particular veneration is to uniformly celebrate the Feast of The Divine Mercy in every diocese around the world asking God’s mercy for sins known or unknown throughout the entire universal Church. Currently there is no liturgical direction on how to Celebrate Mercy Sunday.
Thus, the following is based on a tradition that the people of God have established which is based on the revelations of Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Maria Faustina (about the Feast) and in direct cooperation with the particular and local churches around the world.
Geared towards bishops and priests, this guide will show how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in such a way that will yield tremendous fruit and the return of Catholics to the practice of their faith. Every parish and diocese can experience growth and the joy of seeing the lost sheep being brought back into the fold (Church).
Brief background to the Feast
Christ has given us certain commands in the diary. He tells St. Faustina that: “Humanity will not have peace until it turns with trusts to my Mercy” (Diary 300). This is in reference to celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a command by Christ himself.
St. Faustina made three requests on her deathbed:
- The first was that the Feast of The Divine Mercy be solemnly promulgated and celebrated in every Church around the world.
- The second was that through the chaplet sinners, especially the sick and the dying would have recourse to and experience the unspeakable effects of this Mercy.
- The third was that the work of His Mercy would be realized according to His wishes through a particular person charged with this work (she never knew JPII) (Diary 1680).
Almost all three wishes of St. Faustina have been fulfilled:
a) there is a special devotion of the Divine Mercy given to the sick and dying and, b) Pope St. John Paul II solemnly promulgated the feast and gave an apostolic charge to the work of The Divine Mercy in April 2000.
What has not been fully fulfilled is the Solemn universal celebration of the Feast in every church worldwide on the Second Sunday of Easter as commanded by Christ in the revelations. This is where we come in.
The following is a simple format of how churches around the world celebrate the feast in an organized, reverent and solemn manner. The “rite” is celebrated right after the homily (or in some cases, in lieu of). There is no other change in the Mass.
MASS for the FEAST of THE DIVINE MERCY
Mass as normal for Second Sunday of Easter with appropriate readings of the day.
The rite: (After a brief homily)
a) All will kneel in their pews in silence; the priest then will incense the image of The Divine Mercy which is set on the altar.
b.) He kneels and asks on behalf of the people that The Divine Mercy grant us Mercy for the sins known and unknown for the diocese or archdiocese of ___________ and for the universal Church on this day when the abyss of His mercy is flowing as He requested.
Father will continue to implore The Divine Mercy for sins known and unknown of the world, known and unknown of our nation; known and unknown of our families and known and unknown of each of us. See Page marked “Prayer for Pardon”
c.) Finish with The Divine Mercy Praises. NB: Some pray or chant Litany during the Veneration. Everyone then prays an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be for the intentions of the Holy Father. – (included on page marked Prayer for Pardon”)
d) Individual veneration of the Image – have two altar servers remain on each side with purificators wiping the image (like the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday)
Mass thus continues in the normal fashion.
We use the word “rite” for the time being as it seems most appropriate in liturgical rubrics. The Chaplet can be prayed either before or after the Mass. NOT DURING THE MASS.
Same applies with veneration of relic of St. Faustina (if there is one).
NB: Allow the priest or bishop to briefly explain to the congregation (maybe with a typed program) that everyone in the Church will venerate the Image.
Although not always required (due to pastoral needs), it would be important to end with the great mercy you are receiving today is manifest in the diary of Faustina with the intent of bringing peace to all humanity- something we all need.
Christ speaks about the image itself as being extremely important. The image itself will be the cause for many miracles.
On February 22nd, 1931 Jesus appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said,
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47) I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48) I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. (Diary 327)
The priest or bishop should also remind the congregation of the only thing He (Christ) is asking for in return – to return this deed of mercy to be done to you in thanksgiving for the great gift of mercy you have now received. All should be reminded of the obligation of the Sacrament of Confession All should be asked to pray the chaplet of The Divine Mercy frequently. It is the only prayer that placates the just anger of God the Father.
Theological Explanation of The Feast
Christ’s promise to Faustina that this 8th day OCTAVE is a great day in Church celebration.
This 8th day is given tangible proof of fruit of the celebration of the resurrection. It culminates the feast. This particular fruit extends His death on the Cross on Good Friday and original sin is taken away and extends it on this day in the resurrection to all sin.
The Church has recognized those by granting a plenary indulgence to all souls who comply with the conditions. But Christ himself gave a greater indulgence than that of a plenary. Only HE can take the sin away as if it never occurred. The greatest indulgence the Church can grant is a plenary which removes all punishment due to sin. However, only Christ can take away sin himself whether known or unknown. This is the one Christ promises to give.
Those receiving the indulgence on that day by the veneration of the image on that day with confessions acts of mercy and communion will leave as if they have received a second baptism. Like a newborn baby. All is forgotten as if it has never occurred! Picture the whole parish, diocese and the whole Catholic world leaving the Church as if they never sinned. That is Divine Mercy incarnate! This is not human Mercy – but Divine Mercy! His wisdom, his version!
PRAYER FOR PARDON (to be prayed after the homily leading into the Veneration of The Divine Mercy)
Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown for all mankind. Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown in your Church; known and unknown for all the members of your mystical body – in the hierarchy, the clergy, consecrated and religious life and the laity.
Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown in all the diocese of the world. In particular we lift up this (arch) diocese_________. Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown in all the parishes of the world.
In particular we lift up this parish_________. Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown for all the leaders of nations who have been entrusted with the responsibility for the well-being of their people.
Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown in all the families of the world; especially families wounded and torn asunder and under threat by many evils. Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you.
We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown for all the sick and the dying around the world. Jesus, Divine Mercy, my Lord and my God, we have offended you. We beseech your pardon for the sins known and unknown for all of us here present who seek you with a sincere heart.
With a Fatherly gentleness, Lord, reach out and touch us, heal us, pardon us, allow us to be loved by you, restore us to the dignity and beauty you so intend for us to live. Open our hearts to truly receive with great trust your abundant and incomprehensible mercy.
We ask you this Father God, in the name of your Merciful Son Jesus Christ, our Divine Mercy, by the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection, and in the love created in your Holy Spirit, you who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Prayer for the Intentions of the Holy Father: Our Father, Hail Mary Glory be…