Note: a list of parishes offering live-streamed/video holy hours and services can be found at the end of this story.
To celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday like we’re used to, with Communion and Confession, is simply not possible. But this does not mean that God’s mercy is being withheld—or that we cannot keep the day in a special way. So, what might we do?
As we did for the Triduum, parishes are certainly encouraged to broadcast their Mass for the Second Sunday of Easter as well as devotions associated with Divine Mercy (Rosary… chaplet… adoration… preaching… etc.).
We can reiterate that while the sacraments are the usual and privileged ways of encountering God’s grace and mercy, God can and does work outside of the sacraments… most especially when it is not possible to celebrate them. How might we lead folks in making an act of perfect contrition, for example?
As we did for the Triduum, we can encourage the Domestic Church—our families and individuals at home—to celebrate the day as they are able.
When Pope Francis granted a special indulgence for the pandemic, the requirements for Communion and confession—which are usual parts of receiving a plenary indulgence—were waived. The Decree (6/29/02) granting the Plenary Indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday also makes the same point, which could be a great consolation for many who have a special love for this devotion:
“In addition, sailors working on the vast expanse of the sea; the countless brothers and sisters, whom the disasters of war, political events, local violence and other such causes have been driven out of their homeland; the sick and those who nurse them, and all who for a just cause cannot leave their homes or who carry out an activity for the community which cannot be postponed, may obtain a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, if totally detesting any sin, as has been said before, and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions[sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff], will recite the Our Father and the Creed before a devout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus and, in addition, pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).If it is impossible that people do even this, on the same day they may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if with a spiritual intention they are united with those carrying out the prescribed practice for obtaining the Indulgence in the usual way and offer to the Merciful Lord a prayer and the sufferings of their illness and the difficulties of their lives, with the resolution to accomplish as soon as possible the three conditions prescribed to obtain the plenary indulgence.”As usual, “a partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.”Some individuals may find it helpful, in the spirit of what is called for by the Indulgence, to make an Act of Perfect Contrition (that is one way to help express that one detests any sin) and pray the Act of Spiritual Communion as well as for the Holy Father’s intentions.
Where to access services and holy hours online:
Clinton – Jesus Christ Prince of Peace Parish
Divine Mercy service – 3 p.m.
Burlington/West Burlington – Divine Mercy Parish
Chaplet and a reflection by Father Marty Goetz – 3 p.m.
Divine Mercy Parish Facebook page
Davenport – Holy Family Parish
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with prayers of Divine Mercy – 3 p.m.
Holy Family Facebook page
Muscatine – Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish
Divine Mercy holy hour – 3 p.m.