On Sunday 13 December, Gaudete Sunday, Cardinal Vincent opened the Holy Door at Westminster Cathedral during a service of Vespers and Benediction. The opening of this Holy Door marks the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy in the diocese. Cardinal Vincent was joined in the sanctuary by members of the Cathedral Chapter, the Chaplains of the Cathedral and other diocesan priests.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent said: ‘I hope and pray that we will enter through this Door many times in the months to come, pondering deeply the immensity of God's desire that we never turn away from Him in fear or dread because of what we have done or failed to do.’
He went on to invite people to bring someone with them through the Holy Door who ‘may have moved away from the practice of their faith and yet may well be ready, with our encouragement and gentleness, to make this simple journey home.’
The Holy Door marks the beginning of a ‘Merciful Way’ that has been installed in the cathedral which features ‘Stations of Mercy’ produced by Rachel Sim and a team of artists. These stations reflect on different aspects of God’s mercy, including the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ends at the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cardinal Vincent encouraged those present to take this short pilgrimage, saying; ‘Walk this way so that your life, in its turn, may become a merciful way of life. Here we learn to turn away from bitterness, resentment, anger or envy because the One who is offended by every sin does not bear such bitterness towards us sinners, but lets go of such thoughts and always has ready for us the merciful forgiveness of our failings, even before we come to acknowledge and confess them.’
The Jubilee of Mercy began in Rome on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, when Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Door at Westminster Cathedral will be open for the duration of the Jubilee of Mercy which ends on 21 November 2016. Everyone is invited to make a pilgrimage to the cathedral and enter through the Holy Door and follow the ‘Merciful Way’.