The "Calendar of the Holy Year 2000" and its characteristics
4. The "Calendar of the Holy Year 2000" is an instrument which,
following the rhythm of the liturgical year, indicates the principal celebrations
which will occur in the "jubilee year": from Midnight Mass on the Birth
of the Lord (24 December 1999), when the Holy Year will be inaugurated, until
6 January 2001, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, when the Great Jubilee will be
closed in Rome.
5. The celebrations have a threefold characteristic:
- liturgical, which constitutes the essential element of the Calendar,
and the high points thereof are Easter (23 April), and, in conjunction with the
object of the Great Jubilee, the cycle of the Manifestation of the Lord on the
Solemnity of Christmas (25 December), the Epiphany (6 January) and the
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (25 March).
- jubilant, tied to the proper traditions of the holy years and these
imply, above all, penitential celebrations and pilgrimages of the faithful, often
appertaining to an ecclesial community or particular events scheduled by
professional or existential groups (jubilee of the workers, of sports groups, of
the ill, of prisoners...);
- ecclesial, such as the traditional "days" (Youth Day,
Family Day...) or events in the life of the Church (International Eucharistic
Congress, the International Mariological-Marian Congress...), or with regard to
events and situations that the Church must celebrate and live according to the
provisions made by the Holy Father in his apostolic letter Tertio Millennio
Adveniente such as the commemoration of the "new martyrs" (cf.
TMA n. 37).
Catechetical, missionary and social aspects are underlined in the Calendar.
In the midst of these, provision is made for particularly intense celebrations
in order to sensitise Christians and public opinion to these important themes
of ecclesiastical Magisterium.
6. These three types of celebration often will coincide so the same liturgical
assembly may have a plurality of aspects. It is necessary, therefore, that every
celebration unfolds and is seen to be in harmony, and in accordance with, the
hierarchy of values: the liturgical aspect, insofar as it is tied to the mystery
of Christ, must always be given the most importance; the aspect of the jubilee
directed towards the openness to the faith and conversion, must be pre-eminent
in comparison to that which is associative, which must also be spiritually
prepared and celebrated.