The Preparation for the Great Jubilee
Second Vatican Council
Pope John Paul II
Remote Preparation
Immediate Preparation
1997- The Year of Jesus
1998 - The Year of the Holy Spirit
1999 - the Year of the Father
The Immediate Preparation

The Holy Father counts certain recent events as the more immediate preparation for the Great Jubilee, in that they had immediately in view the arrival of the year 2000 and the celebration of the Great Jubilee of the Incarnation.

The first of these was the Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals held in the Vatican 13-14 June 1994. The Consistory determined that the preparation for the Great Jubilee would consist of two phases:

I. First Phase (1994-1996) in which a Pontifical Commission would be established
- to suggest courses of reflection and actions at the universal level of the Church, 
-to promote awareness of the Great Jubilee (the task especially of local commissions) 
- to promote the conversion which is at the heart of the meaning of the Great Jubilee. Part of this conversion would be an acknowledgement of the counter-witnesses to the Gospel by children of the Church 

"The sins of the past unfortunately still burden us and remain ever present temptations. It is necessary to make amends for them, and earnestly to beseech Christís forgiveness." (Tertio Millennio Adveniente 34)

- to foster efforts toward Christian unity (in line with the Pope's Encyclical Ut unum sint)
- to oppose a general religious indifference; a loss of faith (theoretical or practical atheism)
- and within the Church, to meet the crisis of obedience vis-a-vis the Magisterium
- to promote the reception of the Council by the Church: in theology (Scripture as the soul of theology), in liturgy (renewal in accordance with Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium), in ecclesiology (the Church as Communion as taught by the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium)

One Final Stage of this preparation has been the Continental Synods held during this decade to prepare for the New Evangelization of the Third Millennium.


II. Second Phase (1997-1999), on which the Church embarked on the 1st Sunday of Advent of 1996 (i.e. the Advent immediately preceding 1997). It would be centered on Christ, but also on the Most Holy Trinity,  with each year dedicated to one of the Divine Persons.

1997: Jesus
1998: Holy Spirit
1999: Father

This period was concluded on Christmas Eve 1999 with the Opening of the Great Jubilee by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.