The Opening Mass of the Jubilee – “Go and Preach”

The Opening Mass of the Jubilee at Santa Sabina, Rome – 7 November 2015.
The Opening Mass of the Jubilee

After years of preparations, the Jubilee Door has finally been opened and the celebration of the Jubilee of the Eighth Centenary of the Order has commenced. It was a day of great joy for the multitude that gathered from different parts of the world at the Convent and Basilica of Santa Sabina for the Opening Mass.

The Mass was presided over by the Master of the Order, fr Bruno Cadoré. He was assisted by fr Vivian Boland (his vicar), fr Michael Anthony Perry (Superior General of the Franciscans Friars Minor) and a large number of priests (Dominicans and non-Dominicans). The crowd which overwhelmed the preparations made by the organizers was made up of all branches of the Dominican family and friends.

The Liturgy was filled with unique and symbolic rites to mark the great event we are celebrating. At the beginning, there was the symbolic opening of the ancient door of the Basilica by fr Bruno in the name of the entire Dominican family signifying the opening of the Jubilee. Right there at the door, he lighted a large candle (like the Easter Candle) beautifully decorated with the symbols of the Jubilee. This reminds us of the fact that St Dominic has always been associated with light and he is known as the “Light of the Church” (Lumen Ecclesiae).

Therefore we begin this period of conversion and grace by rekindling that light as a sign of our personal and communal commitment to St Dominic and the mission that was entrusted to him. The light was carried in procession, with representatives of each branch of the Dominican family. They all processed as a family that has been on pilgrimage for 800years and as members of the pilgrim Church with sure eschatological hope. A relic of St Dominic, his breviary and an icon of Our Lady was also carried during the procession. With these, we entered into the Jubilee year with all our heritage and traditions.

There is no greater thanksgiving for the 800years of the Order than the Eucharist itself. During the offertory processions, Dominican nuns carried baskets of rosaries which were received and blessed by the Master of the Order. These rosaries will be used for the rosary pilgrimage round the 202 monasteries of the Order.

After communion, the Te Deum was intoned as a chant of thanksgiving to God. The faithful rose to their feet with lighted candles while the lights in the church were switched off. This was a sight to behold. The Salve Regina and the O Lumen were also chanted.

The usual dismissal, “The Mass is ended….”, was not said because the ceremony (the Jubilee) is not ended, rather it is just beginning and we (Dominicans) are being sent out once again to preach anew. How beautiful!

After the Eucharistic celebration, the crowd was hosted to light refreshment and a concert of music and videos. A great sense of joy and communion was palpable among those present as they greeted and hugged one another.

Checkout more picture of the Opening Mass of the Jubilee and here.

You can follow the events of the Jubilee on the Jubilee website.



(10 November 2015)