The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India has set a one-hour “National Prayer Service” against the coronavirus pandemic on August 7.
In a circular released this week, the Church leaders called on the faithful to join in the prayer service that aims to pray and express solidarity with those who have been affected by the pandemic.
“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 dated July 10.
“Those who lost their dear ones to the virus had to resign themselves to having a dismal funeral rite accorded to their beloved,” it added.
The bishops noted that many are still in the hospitals, “struggling under the grip of the invisible enemy.”
“Many others lost their jobs and are finding it hard to make ends meet,” said the prelates.
Catholics across India are invited to hold a one-hour prayer service on August 7 from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. “to pray for the departed souls, express solidarity with the grieving families and communities and pray for the health of the world.”
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.
In India, Christians observed May 7 this year as a day of fasting and prayer for deliverance from the second wave of the COVID-19 surge that stretched the nation’s healthcare system.
India on Wednesday reported 38,792 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, data from health ministry showed, with daily deaths rising by 624.