Prayer and bouquet of Masses during the coronavirus pandemic
When we welcomed in 2020, none of us imagined that our security and freedom would be shaken by a pandemic. For the vast majority, this situation of rationed food, severe unemployment and boarded-up cities is something we have never seen. To add to the pain, our churches have been locked and we are cut off from the very sacraments that give us life.
We are being asked to distance ourselves from others, yet this feeling of being cut off and alone can cause fear and unrest, even in those of faith. In an address on 15 March, Pope Francis stated that it is precisely because of this necessary isolation that, “we are invited to rediscover the value of the communion that unites all the members of the Church”. He went on to say, “united in Christ we are never alone, but we form one body, of which He is the head”. No matter what happens we need to recall the words of the Psalmist, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid” (118:6)
As people of faith, we believe in the power of prayer. And at this time there is so much to pray for; those who have contracted COVID-19, those who have lost their jobs, those who are scared, those who lead us, those who we love, and those who have died as a result of the virus.
As a spiritual and pastoral foundation, we at Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) have asked ourselves what we can do. We have discerned that we can, and must, encourage prayer. As the most powerful prayer is the Mass - and since for over fifty years, ACN has arranged Masses on behalf of poor priests - we are building a spiritual bouquet of Masses to implore the heavenly Father and our Blessed Mother to be with us all in this time. The custom of Mass offerings dates back to the second century and is a tangible sign of the spiritual and material dependence we Christians have on one another. Every year ACN supports over 40,000 priests with 1.5 million Mass offerings.
I invite you to join us in building up this bouquet by arranging at least one Mass (and sharing this page with others). Each Mass will be offered by a poor priest with no other means of support and your entire Mass offering amount will be sent to that priest. The priest will offer the Mass for the intentions of the benefactor, which in this case will be for our nation and world during this time of crisis. The reason we offer these Masses as part of a bouquet is because the power of prayer is multiplied when united. It is as if each person brings a single rose, yet when combined, the beauty is shared and enjoyed by all. Especially while we are deprived of the opportunity to attend Mass and receive the Lord in Holy Communion, this bouquet allows us the opportunity to unite ourselves in a particular way to the graces of the Mass.
God bless you.
National Director | Aid to the Church in Need Australia
Prayer during the coronavirus pandemic
(adapted from the USCCB)
Mary, Help of Christians. We fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of God’s holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy. Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Download the prayer card here.
Pope Francis also has a prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic that you can download here.
Join our spiritual bouquet of Masses during the coronavirus pandemic