05/29/2020, 17.25
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Indian Bishops to hold ecumenical prayer on Pentecost to heal from the virus and other evils

by Nirmala Carvalho

At 12 noon next Sunday, bells will ring followed by a prayer in Mavelikara cathedral (Kerala). The Orthodox Church, the Church of Mar Thomas, the Church of South India, the Salvation Army and Syro-Malankara Church will participate. The service will be broadcast live on TV.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – India’s Catholic Church is offering an ecumenical prayer to the Holy Spirit to heal the country from the coronavirus epidemic, as well other physical, spiritual and earthly evils.

Card Oswald Gracias and Bishop Joshua Mar Ignatius of the Syro-Malankar Eparchy of Mavelikara (Kerala), respectively president and vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), sent the proposal to the country’s various bishops and churches.

“We have organised an ecumenical prayer meeting with five neighbouring congregations, namely the Orthodox Church, the Church of Mar Thomas, the Church of South India, the Salvation Army and my Syro-Malankara Church,” Bishop Joshua told AsiaNews.

At noon next Sunday, the bells of all the churches and Christian institutions will ring out,” he explained. After this, “we shall begin the prayer service.”

Since the country is still under a pandemic, the event “will be broadcast live on TV for all families and people in India and all Indians abroad” who will be able “to participate and celebrate the feast day of Pentecost.”

The event includes hallelujahs and traditional songs, and then a prayer for seven healings, those of body, mind, emotions, relationships, society, land, and spirit. Each prayer will be explained and expressed by a Christian leader.

After the Lord’s Prayer, Bishop Joshua Mar Ignatius will bring the meeting to a close, with the Indian national anthem as the closing moment.

Writing to the bishops, Card Gracias notes that “In India, in spite of the lockdown, the number of cases and fatalities is gradually going up. It appears that we are nowhere near the end of the pandemic.” For this reason, “Our call is to pray more intensely on the feast of Pentecost.” This will be a great occasion for all Christians “to pray unitedly at 12:00 noon for this intention.”

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