Sunday of the Word of God 2019

On the Feast of St Jerome in 2019, Pope Francis issued a ‘Motu Proprio” instituting the Sunday of the Word of God.

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It is marked each year on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. In 2020 we celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God on 26 January.

The Holy Father proposed the idea at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy when he wrote of a desire to institute a “Sunday given over entirely to the Word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.”

How to celebrate the day

The document provides a summary of the Church’s teaching on Scripture and the place of Scripture within the Liturgy.

It also suggests a number of ways that the day might be marked:

  • In the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word.
  • It would be particularly appropriate to highlight the proclamation of the word of the Lord and to emphasise in the homily the honour that it is due.
  • Bishops could celebrate the Rite of Installation of Lectors or a similar commissioning of readers, in order to bring out the importance of the proclamation of God’s word in the liturgy.
  • Renewed efforts should be made to provide members of the faithful with the training needed to be genuine proclaimers of the word.
  • Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with sacred Scripture, especially through the practice of Lectio Divina.

Year-long not Yearly

Pope Francis says that, although the Church now has a day to celebrate the gift of Scripture, it’s important that the Word of God is at the heart of our lives each and every day:

“A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.”

The God Who Speaks

The first Sunday of the Word of God happily coincides with the Bishops of England and Wales declaring 2020 a Year of the Word.

Our project The God Who Speaks is in full swing and you can read more and download be celebrated from the First Sunday of Advent 2019.

The Word of God shapes our prayer and worship and shows us how to understand the world – how we are called to live and relate to each other.

Throughout 2020 there are a range of events, activities and resources to participate in all around the country. To help achieve transformation in our hearts and in our communities there will be three themes of celebrating, living and sharing God’s word.
Take a look at our digital content to see how you can get involved.

The Gospel of St Luke

In 2019, we recorded the Gospel According to St Luke in its entirety so you can listen to the evangelist’s account of Jesus’s life online.

Listen or download here.

In 2020 the focus falls on the Gospel of St Matthew. After Easter, we’ll have full audio of St Matthew’s Gospel online.

Daily Bible Quotes

Daily Bible Quotes

We’re sharing daily quotes from Scripture to serve as inspiration to celebrate, live and share the Word of God.

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