Nursery, Prep I and the Year of Mercy

Posted: 28th January 2016

Our Holy Doors

Cathedrals around the world have opened their Holy Doors for the Year of Mercy which began in December last year.  On Tuesday 8th December 2015, Pope Francis opened the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, inaugurating the Jubilee of Mercy. The ceremony took place after he celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in St Peter’s Square.

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Generated by IJG JPEG Library

In ‘Resources for the Year of Mercy, Part II:  The Holy Door’ produced by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, a Holy Door is described thus:

‘A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences.’

This Year of Mercy is given to us to focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness and at St Augustine’s Priory we have opened our own Holy Doors as a symbol of God’s love for each of us.

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At the entrance to the Chapel the children in Nursery and Prep I have worked hard to decorate the doors beautifully, each child having made their own picture of a sheep to hang on the doors.  Each sheep has the name of a child attached and illustrates the parable of the Good Shepherd in the Gospel of John, Chapter 10 and also that of the Lost Sheep in the Gospels of Matthew, Chapter 18 and Luke, Chapter 15.

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These parables tell of God’s love for us:

‘Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray?  I tell you solemnly, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all.  Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost’. (Matthew 18: 12 – 14).

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We may not all have the opportunity to travel to Rome this year, or pass through any of the cathedral Holy Doors, but when we go through the doors into the Chapel at St Augustine’s Priory, let us all be reminded of God’s mercy, and his love for each and every one of us.

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