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Sunday of the Word of God

Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio "Aperuit illis", establishes that "the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God". Pope Francis is clear from the very first paragraph of this letter that the relationship between the Risen Lord, a community of believers, and sacred Scripture is essential to who we are as Christians.

Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the occasion.

Date of Celebration: Sunday, 26 January 2020

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)

Pope Francis is inviting Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his Word. 

Sunday, 26 January is a time when the community is called to give greater attention not just to the Word of God. It is also urged to reflect on how we honour that Word in our celebrations, the books that we proclaim the Word from.

  • Is the Gospel book carried in procession?
  • Is it a well-made book that shows forth its life-giving content?
  • Is it honoured with incense, and do we sing during the Gospel procession? 
  • Are the readers who proclaim the Word formed in the art of proclamation, and the knowledge of what they are announcing?

Pope Francis suggests in his letter that this Sunday is an ideal time to reflect on these issues. For presiders, it is also a call to reflect once again on their preaching of the Word of God. This Sunday might well be an appropriate time to commission and bless those who serve the community as readers, and initiate new ones to this essential ministry. If the parish community does not enthrone the Word of God every Sunday, maybe today is an opportunity to start.


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