The Holy Door at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse was ceremonially sealed Nov. 22, in anticipation of its opening Dec. 13 in celebration of the Year of Mercy.
The door, located in the Cathedral’s right transept, was hung with bunting in papal yellow and white and flanked by candles. Msgr. Neal Quartier, rector of the Cathedral, celebrated the sealing rite at the beginning of the 9:45 a.m. Mass.
“A holy door, or porta sancta, has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession and indulgences,” he said. “But a holy door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ. Jesus is the door! In the words of Pope Francis, ‘There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).”
The door will remain closed until Dec. 13, when Bishop Robert J. Cunningham will open it during 9:45 a.m. Mass. On that day, Holy Doors in cathedrals around the world will also be opened.
Once opened, the door should “be a reminder to all who pass through it that Jesus is the way to salvation,” Msgr. Quartier said. “Let it serve as a symbol of God’s everlasting mercy and his constant invitation to us to return home to him. May the doors of our hearts be wide open to his call. And may the doors of all our parishes be open to all who seek the living God.”
See photos and video of the sealing below.
All photos by Chuck Wainwright for the Catholic Sun.
See video of the sealing in the Nov. 25 edition of “Around the Diocese.”