World Youth Day (WYD) is a gathering of millions of young adults, along with the pope, that takes place over the course of a week every two to four years, each time in a different country. It celebrates youth, demonstrates the universality of the Church, and is a moment of evangelization for the Church. This year, WYD is taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, August 1–6, 2023.
WYD presents a great opportunity for your parish to focus on youth and to accompany, virtually and spiritually, the millions of pilgrims who will descend upon Lisbon. Here are a few ways your parish can highlight youth during the next few weeks:
- Invite young people to stand during or after Mass for a special blessing (could be at all Masses), similar to a blessing for moms on Mother’s Day or catechists on Catechetical Sunday.
- Include a petition at Mass for all those young people attending WYD and for the youth of the parish. Here’s an example: “For all those participating in the global celebration of World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, and for all the youth of our parish, that the Lord move their hearts to a closer relationship with him, we pray to the Lord.”
- Include a message in the homily for the youth of the parish and for those attending WYD.
- Have a Youth Mass, and invite all young people and their families to celebrate WYD locally.
- Host a WYD celebration after Mass, inviting young people and their families for a meal or snacks. Consider including music, games, an inspirational speaker, or a service project that can be experienced together.
- Highlight young people who are involved in various ministries in the parish.
- Arrange a Holy Hour for young people that includes catechesis, inspirational talks and music, and time for reflection.
- Organize a youth retreat or day of prayer for young people, and use the themes from WYD Lisbon.
- Invite young people to participate in an experience of service to others.
- Invite young people to offer reflections about their faith at Sunday Masses.
Here are some key links to themes and events related to WYD Lisbon:
- The WYD Pilgrimage of Symbols
- WYD 2023 Theme
- Official Prayer
- Official Theme Song
- Message from Pope Francis
- Catechetical Session Resources
- Rise Up Preparatory Encounters
Don’t miss this opportunity to let young people know that they are an important part of the Church!