Pope Francis has issued an apostolic letter entitled “Aperuit Illis,” instituting the “Sunday of the Word of God” for all dioceses and churches throughout the world.
“I hereby declare that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted
to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God.”
This year, the “Sunday of the Word of God” will be held on January 24, 2021. If that date doesn’t work, parishes can move the date to another Sunday. The other option is to shift this celebration to our parish faith formation and/or Catholic schools and invite the clergy to visit the children during that time. Whenever – and however – this takes place, the point is to connect Sacred Scripture with daily life.
Pope Francis suggests that parishes undertake “initiatives to make the sacred Scripture more accessible to believers, to increase their gratitude for so great a gift, and to help them to strive daily to embody and bear witness to its teaching.” With this in mind, we suggest two such initiatives for every parish:
- Parishioners bring their personal or family Bible to Mass with them on this Sunday so that the celebrant can offer a prayer of commitment and blessing over the people as they hold their own Bibles.
- Parishioners bring their Bibles home to be enthroned in their homes, using the enthronement service below.
Blessing of Bibles at Sunday Mass
Click below to access a blessing prayer over the Sunday Mass congregation for Sunday of the Word of God. Instruct the people to bring their personal or family Bibles to Mass, then offer this prayer of commitment and blessing.
Enthrone the Bible in Your Home
Click below to access a prayer service for enthroning the Bible. You may make as many copies as you wish for your family or the families of your parish. Print on both sides to create a four-page booklet. It is available in English and Spanish. (Thanks to the American Bible Society – Catholic Initiatives.)
The USCCB has a page filled with resources for this special event, including activities, reflections, and more.
The Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions has put together a wonderful book that includes readings for the day, sample prayers of the faithful, reflections, and other useful resources.
See this article from Vatican News about why this day and Sacred Scripture are important in the life of the faithful.
Plus, be sure your family is signed up for the Family Bible Challenge, kicking off season eight on January 24, 2021.