England and Wales will come together to pray on 2 March 2021
Bishops from all over Europe, through their Bishops’ Conferences, will join together during Lent to celebrate a series of Masses and pray for the victims of Covid-19. The continent has suffered over 770,000 deaths from the virus.
The initiative, promoted by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), aims to offer a sign of communion and hope for the entire continent.
Each nation, or nations in our case, will come together to celebrate Holy Mass on a designated day to be part of this continental prayer network – a Eucharistic chain.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Vice President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, will celebrate a special live-streamed Mass on Tuesday, 2 March 2021, at 17:30 in Westminster Cathedral.
Bishops across England and Wales will also celebrate Masses in their own dioceses.
Since the start of the pandemic, bishops from across Europe have added their voices to that of Pope Francis to reiterate the Church’s closeness to all those struggling with coronavirus – the victims and their families, the sick, health and social care workers, the volunteers and all those on the front line at this challenging time.
“Together, we have assessed the opportunity, or rather the need to remember in the Holy Mass in a particular way during this season of Lent, the victims – the numerous victims – of the pandemic,” said CCEE President Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco in his message to launch the initiative.
“Each European Bishops’ Conference has engaged in the organisation of at least one Mass. It will be like creating a prayer chain, a Eucharistic chain in memory and in suffrage of so many people. In this prayer we also want to remember the bereaved families and all those who are still suffering from the virus and whose lives remain in uncertainty.”
“We, the Bishops of Europe, are all united alongside our Christian communities and our priests. We are grateful to all those who continue to devote themselves to those most in need. We support them with our words, and above all, with our prayers so that their commitment and their hope that we must all have, maintain and increase can help us to look forward together to a better future.”
In 2020, recognising how the COVID-19 pandemic had touched everyone, many of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales celebrated special Masses for the sick, their families, care workers and NHS staff. You can listen to the homilies here.