At 8:00 PM on December 13, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Bishop José Lai formally opened the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Macau. A throng of worshippers filled the square in front of the Cathedral where the Liturgy of the Word was held. After the reading of the Gospel, the Bull of Proclamation of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy was read out.
The Bishop then knocked three times with his crozier on the closed cathedral doors, which were opened to let both priests and faithful into the church, as they chanted “Let us enter the Lord’s temple.” The number of faithful was such that some were asked to go up the sanctuary and sit behind the priests so that those remaining outside could come in. Even the central nave of the Cathedral was filled with worshippers.
Bishop Lai pronounced a homily in Chinese, Portuguese and English, citing how the Church offers mercy in the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. He encouraged everyone to take advantage of the graces offered by this Extraordinary Jubilee, especially in the Sacrament of Confession. He remarked how important it was to play the role of the prodigal son who returned to his father’s embrace.
After the homily, Bishop Lai sprinkled holy water on all those gathered to remind them of their baptism, going down the nave to reach the crowd that packed the cathedral.
He then intoned the Te Deum in thanksgiving for the opportunity for personal conversion that the Holy Year offered to everyone.
The liturgy was capped with the singing of the Salve Regina, after which the Bishop, followed by the priests, processed back to the Bishop’s Palace.