Sacrament Matters: “Praying During the Pandemic”

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Home > Media > News > Sacrament Matters: “Praying During the Pandemic”
Sacrament Matters: “Praying During the Pandemic”

Dr Christine Wood, Director, Office of Evangelisation & Catechesis

If you are feeling spiritually abandoned since public Masses were cancelled, then there are things that we laity can do in lieu of direct access to the Eucharist. Recall that by our baptism we are made sharers in Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices. The graces received at baptism continue to work in our daily lives so long as we are united to Christ through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

The baptised all share in the baptismal priesthood. Those men who have been ordained to the ministerial priesthood are at the service of the baptismal priesthood. When our priests say their daily Mass in private they continue to offer the sacrifice of Christ for our intentions.

Each day we would do well to unite our prayer intentions to the Masses offered that same day by our priests. Besides praying for the end to the pandemic, consider praying for those who have died, who are sick, and for all the medical staff and priests ministering to the sick. Be sure to include our government leaders, that the Lord will bestow on them the wisdom needed to govern society well in this difficult time.

Although we lack access to public Masses, we are not deprived of the liturgy altogether. Consider praying the daily Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, in union with all those Catholics throughout the world who pray it. This enables us to participate with the universal Church in the liturgy throughout the day. A number of websites and apps provide ready access to these prayers (e.g. universalis.com or divineoffice.org).

Consider setting up a prayer space within your homes. This might include a crucifix, bible, holy picture of the Madonna and Child, a candle, and a cloth in the liturgical colour of the day.  You may make this your sacred space within the home where the family can gather to offer daily prayers in union with those of the local parish and the universal Church. You might even read the daily Mass readings to the family, and pray a rosary asking the Blessed Mother for her protection and intercession to stop this pandemic. Beseech the intercession of the saints, particularly Ss. Roch and Sebastian who are powerful intercessors against plagues.

Now is not the time to feel isolated nor abandoned. Pope Francis says, ‘Every man for himself’ is not a solution to pandemic. Rather, it is a time to pray in solidarity with the universal Church for those most in need. In so doing, our baptismal graces become active through our baptismal priesthood.