Pope Francis established a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly which took place for the first time on Sunday 25 July 2021. In 2022, the celebration will fall on Sunday 24 July, the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents of Jesus. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this year’s celebration is: “In old age they will still bear fruit” (Psalm 92:15).
Ideas of how to mark the Day
Perhaps you could talk with your priest and others about how this day can be celebrated and marked in your parish.
The Catholic Grandparents Association says ‘We invite you to join us in marking this momentous day in parishes. We have a whole suite of resources and ideas for how you can make this a wonderful celebration for all.’
Here are some of their ideas:
- Host a Mass of Thanksgiving on the weekend of 23/24 July with a focus on the celebration of Grandparents. If possible invite Grandparents and Grandchildren to be part of the Mass or to join in online. Include those in care homes.
- Plant a Tree in Memory of all grandparents and older people in the parish
- Send a Peace Card via email or social media (Card graphics coming soon on CGA)
- Write letters to Grandparents and Grandchildren (Coming Soon on CGA)
- Children’s Prayer Appeal: We invite children in schools or parish to compose prayers in honour of their Grandparents. These are presented at the Offertory during Pilgrimage Masses.
- Book of Remembrance and Forget Me Not Flowers
We are suggesting that a simple book of remembrance be opened on 1 July in parishes and that people would be invited to write the names of grandparents, great grandparents and other elders in the family who are no longer with us. This book can then be brought to the altar at the start of Mass on the weekend 23rd/24th July.
- Host a Novena or Holy Hour with the Rosary for Grandparents and the Elderly in the week leading up to the celebration on Sunday 24 July.
PRAYER FOR THE SECOND WORLD DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS AND THE ELDERLY
I give thanks to you, Lord, For the blessing of a long life For, to those who take refuge in You, Grant always to bear fruit. Forgive, O Lord, Resignation and disillusionment, But forsake me not When my strength declines. Teach me to look with hope To the future you give me, To the mission you entrust to me And to sing your praises without end. Make me a tender craftsman Of Your revolution, To guard with love my grandchildren And all the little ones who seek shelter in You. Protect, O Lord, Pope Francis And grant Thy Church To deliver the world from loneliness. Direct our steps in the way of peace. Amen.
The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life have produced a Pastoral Kit of documents and a Press Kit for the Day, which can both be downloaded from THIS PAGE.