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World Council of Churches pray for end of Covid-19 pandemic

The World Council of Churches observed a week of zealous prayer from March 22 to 27.

One year into the Covid-19 pandemic churches across the globe prayed and reflected with lamentation and hope at the unprecedented suffering experienced since March 2020.

It was a time that saw churches working together in ever new ways to adapt, respond, and accompany communities through the exacting mental, physical, economic, spiritual and environmental crisis.

The week of fervent prayer convened with WCC member churches and ecumenical partners, sharing prayers and spiritual resources intentionally produced in response to the pandemic.

Rev Prof Dr Ioan Sauca, the acting WCC general secretary said: "During the week we gathered to offer intercessions especially for the most vulnerable and those on the front line caring for them, often under harsh circumstances.

“We will recommit ourselves to active compassion across what separates us, in obedience to the one who had compassion for the crowds and ministered to [them] for their healing."

The WCC’s online publication Voice of Lament, Hope and Courage, is a resource for prayer groups, congregational services, personal prayer and pastoral help for those affected by the pandemic. The prayers, messages, reflections and statistics have roots in faith challenged by mourning, fear and uncertainty in different contexts worldwide.

Rev Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, the interim deputy general secretary of WCC, invited ecumenical partners to join sisters and brothers worldwide in a prayer journey from a lament for the millions of lives that have been lost.

She said: “Pray with them firstly, for hurting and suffering communities, then for global leaders, for health workers on the front line of the struggle, for a fair distribution of vaccines, especially in low-income countries. And, finally, for those – specially children and the most vulnerable – who become encouraging signs of hope for us as they get up and recover."

The WCC's March 26 YouTube prayer service, Voices of Lament, Hope, and Courage, was somewhat reminiscent of the New Testament Pentecost. I instantly heard prayers and scriptural readings from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Pacific languages on lament, hurting and suffering, healing, leaders, protection, and hope.

View the WCC’s pandemic publications and its Covid-19 prayer service at oikoumene.org.

Founded in 1948, the World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity and service for its 350 Protestants, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches which, together, represent 580 million Christians from more than 110 countries. WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church

Rev Prof Dr Ioan Sauca, the acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches

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Published April 03, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 01, 2021 at 9:37 am)

World Council of Churches pray for end of Covid-19 pandemic

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