Catholics in India are all set to hold national prayer service on Saturday, August 7, to pray for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has set the one-hour “National Prayer Service” to pray for, and express solidarity with, those who have been affected by the pandemic.
On Friday, India reported 44,643 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 31.86 million cases.
Deaths rose by 464, taking total fatalities to 426,754.
“We are all going through a very difficult time and many of us are facing seriously challenging situations on account of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” read the bishops’ circular last month.
The service will be broadcast on various television channels and online platforms from several locations across the country starting 8:30 p.m local time.
The multi-lingual service will begin with an opening hymn from the Mount Mary Basilica in Bandra, followed by an introduction from St. Mary’s Basilica in Bangalore.
The opening prayer will be broadcast live from the tomb of St. Thomas in Chennai while the Gospel will be read from Bangalore, and the homily will be delivered by Cardinal Oswald Gracias from the Holy Name Cathedral in Mumbai.
The prayer of the faithful, in seven different Indian Languages, will come from the Basilica of Our lady of Graces in Uttar Pradesh.
The “Prayer for Delivery from the Coronavirus” will come from the Marian basilica in Hyderabad, followed by a litany of supplications and prayer for the departed souls from the tomb of Saint Teresa of Kolkata.
The Consecration of the Church in India will be beamed from Sacred Heart Cathedral New Delhi, and the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from the tomb of St. Francis Xavier in Goa.
The concluding hymn will come from the Marian Basilica of Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu.
The bishops requested everyone to join the online prayer service and to get their relatives and friends overseas to join in.
Churches around the world have held similar prayer campaigns since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.
Pope Francis led a prayer service when Italy was in the grip of the worst outbreak of the pandemic.
During the Marian month of May, Pope Francis invited Catholics and Marian Shrines around the world to a marathon of prayer for an end to the pandemic. – with a report from RVA News