Jubilee Years are a period of extra grace for the remission of sins and universal forgiveness. The Book of Leviticus presents the concept of a Jubilee Year every fifty years, when slaves and prisoners were freed, debts forgiven and God’s mercy was particularly present (Cf. Lev 25:8-13). As part of a Jubilee Year participants may receive the Jubilee Indulgence attached to particular requirements during the year.
What is an Indulgence?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an indulgence is:
“… a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints” (CCC 1471)
In order to gain the indulgence a person must perform some work attached to the Jubilee Year. The work may be done for seeking the indulgence for the individual concerned or for the benefit of another person, living or dead.
Works to be performed for the Jubilee Year of Mercy Indulgence
On 1st September 2015 Pope Francis issued a letter to the Bishops of the world in which he stated the requirements for obtaining the Jubilee Year of Mercy Indulgence. The letter presents requirements for different catergories of people, enabling an opportunity of the indulgence being granted to all. The requirements are as follows:
For able-bodied Catholics
Make a Pilgrimage to one of the Holy Doors within your local area (diocese), or at one of the Papal Basilicas in Rome. Crossing through the Holy Door is a spiritual journey signifying “the deep desire for true conversion”.
Go to Confession.
Recieve the Holy Eucharist “with a reflection of mercy”.
Make a profession of faith.
Pray for the Pope and his intentions.
For the elderly, the confined and the sick
By living their trial in life in a spirit of “fath and joyful hope”.
Receiving the Eucharist.
Or by attending Mass or Community Prayer “even through the various means of communication” eg. on tv, radio, Internet
For those in Prison
The indulgence may be obtained in prison chapels. Pope Francis says “May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom”.