You may have read/heard that Cardinal Blase Cupich has asked parishes to ring their church bells five times a day.
It is his hope that people will have the experience of being united in prayer at a time when we are isolated. By pausing and lifting up in prayer all those affected by the pandemic, we can offer those in need our support and let them know they are not alone.
The prayer times began on Saturday, March 21, at 9:00 a.m. and continue every three hours each day with the last bells rung at 9:00 p.m. Each of the five prayer times is dedicated to a specific group particularly impacted by the pandemic.
Old St. Mary’s does not have church bells, so we are asked to set an alarm so we can stop for a moment and unite in prayer.
The special intention for each hour will be announced on the archdiocesan website and on their Twitter accounts. Below are the links to those sites.
Unite in Prayer News Release
If you cannot get to the above sites for the daily prayer intentions, below are the prayer intentions for Saturday, March 21. No doubt these will also work recited by many of us each day at the bell times.
9:00 a.m. – Prayer for those infected with the virus and all who are ill
Lord, place your healing hand on those who suffer illness. Bring them to full health and ease their anxious hearts. May our prayer and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary encourage them that they are not alone. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN
12:00 p.m. – Prayer for health care workers and those attending to the sick
Lord, we are ennobled by those who put their lives at risk in caring for the sick. Keep them safe and embolden them when they are weary. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN
3:00 p.m. – Prayer for first responders and essential workers
Lord, we pray for those who run to danger to keep us safe and those who serve the common good. Embrace them with your mantle of protection and comfort the fears of their families. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN
6:00 p.m. – Prayer for people of every nation and their leaders
Lord, the pandemic opens our eyes to see each other as brothers and sisters in one human family. We pray for people of every nation and their leaders, asking that they be inspired to seek the good of all and quell the voices of division. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN
9:00 p.m. – Prayer for those who have died today
Lord, we grieve the passing of our sisters and brothers who have died this day. We commend them to your tender mercy, confident that nothing, not even death, will separate us from your love. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN
You are also welcome to engage in other prayers at these times, such as the Angelus at noon and 6:00 p.m. or rosary during the day.