Prayerfully preparing for Jubilee 2025

In 2025 the universal Church will celebrate a year of Jubilee with the theme, “Pilgrims of Hope”. In preparation for the Jubilee, Pope Francis has designated 2024 as a Year of Prayer.

Jubilee years find their roots in the Jewish tradition. In the Scriptures, Moses prescribed a time of Jubilee for the Jewish people allowing them a year of rest from their labours, an opportunity to return to their families, to receive a remission of their debts and for slaves, liberation (Leviticus 25:10-14).

Jubilee YearIn the history of the Catholic Church, the frequency of Jubilee Years – or Holy Years as they are often called – has changed over time. At first, they were celebrated every 100 years, then 50 years and since 1470 every 25 years. Successive popes have also chosen to have “extraordinary” Holy Years to commemorate or highlight a significant theme for our Church, for example, the Year of Mercy in 2015.

Jubilee Years are opportunities for transformation. When a theme for a Jubilee is offered, Catholics are invited to enter deeply into that theme through prayer and reflection, formation and missionary action.

In entrusting the organisation of the Jubilee to the Dicastery for Evangelisation, Pope Francis wrote:

“From now on I am happy to think that the year preceding the Jubilee event, 2024, will be dedicated to a great ‘symphony’ of prayer. First of all, to recover the desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and adore him.”

Throughout 2024, the Dicastery will produce several resources to help people better understand and rediscover the value of prayer. Specifically, a series of eight volumes titled, “Notes on Prayer” will be translated into several languages and released throughout the year. The first book, “Praying Today – A challenge to be overcome” was released in January.

At the diocesan level it is hoped that the centrality of individual and community prayer would be promoted. Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli has recommended some practical ways parishioners can enter the Year of Prayer. The archbishop’s suggestions include daily recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, as well as encouragement to read the Bible, especially the gospels and psalms. He has also challenged Catholics to pray for their neighbours – those living next door, in the neighbouring parish and for family members.

With the season of Lent about to commence, there is an imminent opportunity for Catholics to dedicate some extra time to prayer, for example, by participating in a Lenten prayer group, Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic Adoration or attending a weekday Mass.

Parishes might also consider promoting the Jubilee by regularly including it in the Prayer of the Faithful. By providing information about the Jubilee in the parish newsletters and website, parishioners will become aware of the significance of these holy years and the blessings that can come from an active participation in the preparation for, and celebration of, the Jubilee.

Please find below a variety of resources regarding the Year of Prayer and Jubilee 2025.


Archbishop Comensoli on how to enter into the Year of Prayer, 2024 (text and video)
The Pilgrims of Hope – Year of Jubilee 2025 website (various resources).
What is a Holy Year, “History”, Jubilee 2000, Vatican.
Hymn for the Jubilee (English version)
Jubilee 2025 General Calendar
Understanding the Year of Hope logo


Words: Sharon Brewer

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