PORTLAND---Many Maine parishes are planning Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations for Sunday, April 23, including the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, veneration of the Divine Mercy image, the sacrament of reconciliation, and the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (many of the celebrations in the Diocese of Portland are listed below).
On May 5, 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter, the Octave of Easter, would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The feast was established by the pope after he canonized Saint Faustina, a humble Polish nun to whom Jesus revealed his message of divine mercy. A member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Sister Faustina says the Lord appeared to her several times beginning in February 1931. During her visions, she says the Lord communicated to her the depth of his mercy and his desire that all be merciful to one another.
She shared the messages she received in a diary, writing that the Lord told her, ‘I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in my mercy' (Diary No. 687). The diary includes 14 occasions on which Jesus asks that a Feast of Divine Mercy be established. The day Christ chose, according to Saint Faustina, is the first Sunday after Easter, and Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy to begin on Good Friday. On each of the nine days, prayers are to be offered for a different group.
During the novena and on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited (www.portlanddiocese.org/content/chaplet-divine-mercy). The chaplet was given to Saint Faustina by Jesus with this promise: “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death ... Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from my infinite mercy” (Diary No. 687). Jesus also gave St. Faustina the Divine Mercy Novena, nine intentions for which to pray the Chaplet.
In 2002, Pope Saint John Paul II decreed a plenary indulgence associated with the devotion of Divine Mercy Sunday “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion.” A plenary indulgence is the "full remission of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven." Through the sacrament of confession, our sins are forgiven, but some of the worldly effects of those sins may remain. A plenary (full) indulgence completes the healing process.
To receive a plenary indulgence, you must go to confession, receive holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. That should be done in the days leading up to the feast. Then, on Divine Mercy Sunday, you must “in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus.”
Here is a list of many of the Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations scheduled for around the diocese (in alphabetical order by city/town). All are welcome at any celebration:
Divine Mercy Sunday will be celebrated during and following the 11 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Church (8 Sacred Heart Place). The Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Honor Guard will escort a Divine Mercy icon blessed by Pope Saint John Paul II in procession at the entrance of Mass. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in song will follow Mass.
In celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Mary Church (144 Lincoln Street) will be open at 2 p.m. for private prayer with a Holy Hour beginning at 2:30 p.m. During the Holy Hour, there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Scripture readings, time for private prayer, the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, reading from Saint Faustina's diary, benediction, and an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A reception will follow downstairs in the parish center. In addition, during the 9:30 a.m. Mass, there will be veneration of the Divine Mercy image.
Come celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy at St. Francis of Assisi Church (81 Court Street) at 3 p.m. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and spend time with the Lord.
Through April 22, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be recited at St. Teresa Church (425 South Main Street) at 3 p.m. On Divine Mercy Sunday, there will be a holy hour at St. Teresa beginning at 2 p.m.
A 3 p.m. celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy will be held at St. Joseph Church (225 South High Street). There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany to Divine Mercy, meditations from St. Faustina's Diary and benediction.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed on Divine Mercy Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church (64 Franklin Street).
The Parish of the Precious Blood will hold a Divine Mercy Sunday celebration beginning at 2 p.m. at Holy Rosary Church (34 Vaughn Street). The celebration will include hymns, psalms, Scripture passages, the reading of passages from St. Faustina's Diary, the rosary, the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, time for silent prayer, and the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. The service will conclude with a eucharistic procession and benediction.
Christ the Divine Mercy Parish’s celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday will be held at 3 p.m. at St. Peter Church (58 Cedar Street). It will include prayer, followed by a chicken stew supper in the parish hall.
The Parish of the Holy Eucharist invites you to join in the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Holy Martyrs Church (266 Foreside Road). The celebration will include veneration of the Divine Mercy image, meditation, eucharistic adoration, recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, benediction, and the sacrament of reconciliation.
In celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, there will be a holy hour, including the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, immediately following the 10:30 Mass at St. Joseph Church (133 Middle Street). All are welcome but the service will especially be directed towards children in faith formation.
There will be a Divine Mercy holy hour at St. Louis Church (26 East Main Street) on Divine Mercy Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m.
St. Michael Parish invites you to a celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Joseph Church (110 School Street) at 2 p.m. The celebration will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, adoration, recitation of the Rosary, readings, reflections, and the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Also, there will be a musical recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. For more information, contact Denny Arbour at (207) 215-5085.
There will be a Divine Mercy celebration, with prayers and devotion, at the Franciscan Monastery (28 Beach Avenue) on April 23 at 2 p.m. FMI: Carol Ingraham at 207-985-3166.
Fr. Paul Marquis will share Christ's message of Divine Mercy during Masses at the churches of St. Peter the Fisherman Parish (Holy Name Church, Machias; Sacred Heart Church, Lubec; St. Michael Church, Cherryfield; St. Timothy Church, Campobello, New Brunswick). Following Masses at the churches, parishioners will be invited to remain to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
The Cluster 2 parishes of Notre Dame du Mont Carmel, Our Lady of the Valley, and St. Peter Chanel will hold a Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at St. David Church (774 Main Street) beginning at 2:30 p.m. The celebration will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and benediction. There will also be an opportunity to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
On Divine Mercy Sunday, the Novena will be led by Father Richard Philiposki, SChr., at 3 p.m. at St. Louis Parish (279 Danforth Street). The sacrament of reconciliation will be available.
Holy Savior Parish will hold a Divine Mercy Sunday Celebration at St. Athanasius and St. John Church (126 Maine Avenue). The celebration will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a procession, a short presentation, followed by the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m.
A Divine Mercy Sunday celebration, which will include a holy hour and the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, will be held at Most Holy Trinity Church (271 Main Street) beginning at 3 p.m.
Corpus Christi Parish will hold a Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at Notre Dame Church (116 Silver Street). The sacrament of reconciliation will be offered from 2 p.m. to 2:40 p.m., followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and benediction. Fellowship and refreshments will be served in the parish hall. For more information, contact Penny Harkins at (207) 238-0076.