Colombo (AsiaNews) – Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, inaugurated the Holy Year of Mercy on 8 December. Auxiliary Bishop Emmanuel Fernando, Mgr Maxell Silva, several priests, religious and lay people attended the service.
The opening ceremony of the Jubilee took place at 6 pm (local time) at St Lucia Cathedral, in Kotahena, seat of the Archdiocese of Colombo.
As part of the year-long event, Sri Lanka’s Catholic Church plans to offer new religious courses in state and private schools, help children discover the beauty of a good conscience and constantly seek the purity of the spirit, and provide more opportunities for pilgrimages to local and foreign shrines.
As an example of Christian faith, Card Ranjith went to confession before the opening of the Holy Door. At the same time, special prayers and blessing of the Eucharist were held in all the parishes of the Archdiocese.
The archdiocese recorded some music on a CD. It also gave the faithful a prayer composed by Pope Francis for the Holy Year. The prayer will be recited at every Mass, after communion, in Catholic parishes, schools and other religious institutions.
In the capital, St Joseph College held an hour of worship and reflection on 10 December during which priests of the Arcidiocese of Colombo had the opportunity to go to confession. With respect to the latter, the Church has called on all the faithful to make reconciling with God a habitual practice.
Finally, the last Holy Door to open last Saturday, 12 December, was that of the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatte (north of Colombo). The door will remain open from 6 am to 8 pm every day throughout 2016.