THE CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE
FEBRUARY 2, 2000
On the night between December 24 and 25, 1999, before celebrating the Mass of the Nativity of Our Lord, the Holy Father, John Paul II will open the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica thus initiating the celebration of the bi-millenial Great Jubilee of the birth of Christ, our Redeemer.
The consecrated life, which in the Church represents "a living tradition of life and of the message of our Saviour" (Vita consecrata, 22) wishes to unite itself to every great celebration of the Jubilee Year. However, it wishes to be one with both the universal church and the particular churches in a special way on a day which itself is important to this calling: February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. For reasons that are particular to the mystery being celebrated, beginning in 1997, John Paul II has wanted the Church to dedicate this as a day of thanksgiving for the gift of the consecrated life. He has particularly invited all consecrated persons to participate, with the people of God, in this act of thanksgiving.
Thus, in the calendar for the Holy Year 2000, the 2nd of February will be dedicated, both at Rome and in the particular churches, to the celebration of the Jubilee of consecrated life.
In order that all consecrated persons might prepare themselves in a worthy and unified manner for this celebration, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of the Apostolic Life, has considered it timely to offer an indicative booklet in anticipation of the 2nd of February, with the celebration of three distinct and articulated moments of prayer which surround key concepts proposed by the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Vita consecrata: Vocation-consecration (App. I.A); Communion-ecumenism (App. I.B); Mission-witness-martyrdom (App. I.C).
These are three moments of preparation that can be used as a triduum or as a suggested liturgy in individual locations. Whatever is selected, the triduum can be celebrated during the days immediately preceding the 2nd of February: from the 30th of January until the 1st of February. It should contain:
_ A thanksgiving celebration for the gift of vocation with the Vespers of Sunday, January 30th.
_ A pentitential celebration for Monday, January 31st.
_ A community Eucharistic adoration for Tuesday, February 1st.
The preparation culminates on February 2nd with the
The three texts of meditation, which are on the themes of vocation-consecration, communion-ecumenism, and mission-witness-martyrdom, may be inserted into the proposed celebrations.
With suitable adaptations, the celebration of these moments may be lived in communities of consecrated life, in diverse institutes, in the diocese and at the national level.
The proposed indications are not binding but are offered as a help with a view towards community celebration. Suitable commemorations will be prepared and celebrated by consecrated persons, with booklets which are adapted to their own culture and language. The Conferences of Major Superiors of men and of women at the national level or the Commission for Consecrated Life in the various dioceses may help with these.
It is appropriate that these moments of preparation be lived by all consecrated persons, in communion with the local church and in the presence of the Bishop or his delegates, or with the Parish Priests and the Superiors of the various Institutes. The celebrations should also include the presence of the faithful, in such a way that the meaning of the consecrated life within the People of God be manifested.
In Rome, the Jubilee of February 2nd will be preceded by three days of preparation.
Sunday evening, January 30th, the individual communities are invited to live the Vespers celebration as a preparation for the gift of grace in which the Church calls them to participate through the experience of the Jubilee.
On the afternoon of January 31st, in the Paul VI Hall, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, in collaboration with the Union of Superiors General (USG), the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), and the World Conference of Secular Institutes (CMIS), will organise a great act of prayer and of testimony as a "Path of Light", "Walking in the Light" (cfr VC, 40) in the pasqual mystery, lived in the Church by the consecrated life.
At the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the First of February will be totally dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in thanksgiving for the great gift given to the church and the world in the Incarnation of the Word. "He, who became incarnate in the womb of Mary twenty centuries ago, continues to offer himself to humanity as a spring of divine life" (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 55).
The 2nd of February, as they surround the Holy Father, consecrated persons will solemnly celebrate the Jubilee in St Peter's Basilica. The offerings from the communities of the world will also be presented by the Presidents of the Conferences of Consecrated Life at that time (cfr App. II).
Rome, 8 September 1999, on the occasion of the Feast of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary.
Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti, C.P.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Triduum of preparation
January 30: Magnificat - Day dedicated to vocation-consecration.
January 31: Koinonia - Day dedicated to communion.
February 1: Eucharist - Day dedicated to mission-witness-martyrdom.
Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
February 2: Jubilee of the Consecrated Life