Eucharistic Holy Hour for Divine Mercy Sunday

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[Cathedrals and parishes throughout the country are encouraged to join together in prayer and adoration seeking God’s mercy for ourselves and for our nation. The following Holy Hour is a basic model with suggested readings and prayers for this time. Other suitable prayers may be used by the presiding minister.]


Opening Hymn

“O Salutaris Hostia” or another suitable Eucharistic hymn

Opening Prayer

Presiding Minister:
Lord our God,
in this great sacrament we come into the presence of Jesus Christ, your Son,
born of the Virgin Mary and crucified for our salvation.
May we who declare our faith in this fountain of love and mercy
drink from it the water of everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

(select 1 or 2 readings and a passage from Luke’s Gospel or a similar passage illustrating God’s merciful love)

  • Jn 4:1–11  (LFM 463)  And should I not pity Nineveh?

  • Psalm 103:1–14 (LFM 377)  The Lord is kind and merciful

  • 1 Pt 1:3–9  (LFM 347)  The death and resurrection of Jesus has won us the hope of salvation

  • Eph 2:4–10  (LFM 32)  God, who is rich in mercy, brought us to life in Christ

  • Rom 5:6–11  (LFM 91)  Christ died for us while we were still sinners

  • Lk 15:3–7  (LFM 172)  The Parable of the Lost Sheep

  • Lk 15:1–3, 11–32  (LFM 33)  The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Reflection/meditation on God’s merciful love for mankind

The Presiding Minister may offer insights on the revelation of God’s mercy throughout salvation history—in Scripture, through the writings of saints and, in a particular way, through the revelations recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska. Attached is a brief description of Divine Mercy and the origin of devotions and the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday, along with selected quotations.

Period of Silent Reflection and Adoration

Recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

[A pamphlet or the attached instruction sheet may be made available to congregants to enable full participation in the chaplet.]


Presiding Minister:
God is the Father of all mercies. In him we place our faith as we pray the following petitions:

Deacon or Lector:
For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, bishops, priests, and all the faithful:
that in this Year of Faith, each will bear witness to the love and mercy of God;
We pray to the Lord:
All:  Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who have committed grave sin and who are afraid to go to confession:
that their fears will dissolve in the face of Jesus’ longing to forgive and be reconciled to them;
We pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who serve in public office:
that they govern with true compassion for the lives of the most vulnerable among us—
especially unborn children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For parents:
that, by their guidance and the witness of their own lives,
they will teach their children how to love and forgive when they have been wronged;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For the protection of conscience rights and religious liberty,
and that all people of good will may work together
against the increasing threats to these fundamental rights;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For peace throughout the world, and especially in areas of open conflict:
that ancient prejudices and hatreds will be replaced by a spirit of mercy and brotherhood;
We pray to the Lord:
All:  Lord, hear our prayer.

Presiding Minister:
Almighty and merciful Father, we give you thanks for all of your many blessings, and we ask you to hear these petitions in the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.


“Tantum ergo” or another suitable Eucharistic song is sung as the presider incenses the Blessed Sacrament.

Presiding Minister:
Let us pray.
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament
have left us a memorial of your Passion,
grant us, we pray,
so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood
that we may always experience in ourselves
the fruits of your redemption.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
All: Amen.


Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be his Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be his Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be his Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in his angels and in his Saints.

Closing Hymn

“Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” or another suitable hymn.

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Excerpt from Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass © 1974 ICEL. All rights reserved. Excerpt from the English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010 ICEL. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.Copyright © 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

Notes and Quotes for Reflection on Divine Mercy

From Creation, God has revealed his nature as love itself, in Sacred Scripture and most perfectly in the life, Passion, death and Resurrection of his Son, Jesus. Saints have also borne witness to God’s unfathomable love, e.g., in the writings of Augustine, Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Margaret Mary Alacoque and Thérèse of Lisieux.

In his second encyclical, Rich in Mercy, Pope Saint John Paul II offers an extended meditation on the mystery of God’s mercy, which he calls “the greatest of the attributes and perfections of God” (Dives in misericordia, 13). He returned to this theme throughout his pontificate:

As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!
Lord, who reveals the Father’s love by Your death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.

—St. Pope John Paul II, Regina caeli message prepared for Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, 2005

What is mercy if not the boundless love of God, who confronted with human sin, restrains the sentiment of severe justice and, allowing Himself to be moved by the wretchedness of His creatures, spurs Himself to the total gift of self, in the Son’s cross …?
Who can say that he is free from sin and does not need God’s mercy? As people of this restless time of ours, wavering between the emptiness of self-exaltation and the humiliation of despair, we have a greater need than ever for a regenerating experience of mercy.

—St. Pope John Paul II, Regina caeli message, April 10, 1994

Pope Benedict XVI called St. John Paul II “a great apostle of Divine Mercy” and echoed his predecessor’s thoughts:

In our time, humanity needs a strong proclamation and witness of God’s mercy. Beloved John Paul II, a great apostle of Divine Mercy, prophetically intuited this urgent pastoral need. He dedicated his second Encyclical to it and throughout his pontificate made himself a missionary of God’s love to all peoples.

—Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus message, September 16, 2007

Mercy is the central nucleus of the Gospel message; it is the very name of God, the Face with which he revealed himself in the Old Covenant and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creative and redemptive Love. May this merciful love also shine on the face of the Church and show itself through the sacraments, in particular that of Reconciliation, and in works of charity, both communitarian and individual. May all that the Church says and does manifest the mercy God feels for man.

—Pope Benedict XVI, Regina caeli address, March 30, 2008

Pope Francis built upon this consistent teaching and made mercy a key theme of his Pontificate.

Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father.

—Pope Francis, Misericordia et misera, November 20, 2016

[Reminding us of Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina:] “’I am love and mercy itself; there is no human misery that could measure up to my mercy’ (Diary, 14 September 1937). At one time, the Saint, with satisfaction, told Jesus that she had offered him all of her life and all that she had. But Jesus’ answer stunned her: ‘You have not offered me the thing is truly yours.’ What had that holy nun kept for herself? Jesus said to her with kindness: ‘My daughter, give me your failings’ (10 October 1937). We too can ask ourselves: ‘Have I given my failings to the Lord? Have I let him see me fall so that he can raise me up?’ Or is there something I still keep inside me? A sin, a regret from the past, a wound that I have inside, a grudge against someone, an idea about a particular person… The Lord waits for us to offer him our failings so that he can help us experience his mercy.”

—Pope Francis, Homily, Holy Mass on the Feast of Divine Mercy, April 19, 2020

Origin of Divine Mercy Sunday, the Divine Mercy image, the Chaplet, and the Novena

Saint Faustina: Mankind’s need for the message of Divine Mercy took on dire urgency in the 20th Century, when civilization began to experience an “eclipse of the sense of God” and, therefore to lose the understanding of the sanctity and inherent dignity of human life. In the 1930s, Jesus chose a humble Polish nun, St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, to receive private revelations concerning Divine Mercy that were recorded in her Diary. St. John Paul II explains:

This was precisely the time when those ideologies of evil, nazism and communism, were taking shape. Sister Faustina became the herald of the one message capable of off-setting the evil of those ideologies, that fact that God is mercy—the truth of the merciful Christ. And for this reason, when I was called to the See of Peter, I felt impelled to pass on those experiences of a fellow Pole that deserve a place in the treasury of the universal Church.

—Pope Saint John Paul II, Memory and Identity (2005)

Divine Mercy Sunday: St. Faustina’s Diary records 14 occasions when Jesus requested that a Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday) be observed, for example:

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. … Let no soul fear to draw near to Me. … It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.

—St. Faustina, Diary, no. 699

On May 5, 2000, five days after the canonization of St. Faustina, the Vatican decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter would henceforth be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Image: Jesus appeared to St. Faustina in a vision, with his right hand raised in a blessing and his left touching his garment above his heart. Red and white rays emanate from his heart, symbolizing the blood and water that was poured out for our salvation and our sanctification. The Lord requested that “Jesus, I trust in You” be inscribed under his image. Jesus asked that his image be painted and venerated throughout the world: “I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish” (Diary, no. 48) and “By means of this image I will grant many graces to souls” (Diary, no. 742).

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy: The Chaplet was also given to St. Faustina with this promise: “Encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given you” (Diary, no. 1541). “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy” (Diary, no. 687). (Instructions for its recitation are provided on a separate page.)

The Divine Mercy Novena: Jesus gave St. Faustina nine intentions for which to pray the Chaplet beginning on Good Friday and ending on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday.

Copyright © 2021, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.