The Bishops had originally chosen the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent as the Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse. In consultation with survivors, from 2021, this was changed to the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter.
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse was marked in 2020 on Friday, 3 April.
The resources below were used on the day itself or the surrounding days. Resources may also be used at other times of the year. Indeed, the Service and the Mass, if offered across the deaneries of a diocese, would be celebrated throughout the year.
It is important for the local Church to acknowledge and respond in prayer when it is able, rather than restrict its activities to just one day of the year.
Much of the material in this section has been written by and with survivors.
Though it is hoped that survivors will be included in any local initiative that may not always be possible. This should not be a barrier to using the Let’s Be Honest service as it was prepared by survivors so that their voice would be heard – even in places where it has not yet been heard.
In 2020, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, offered these Stations for the victims and survivors of abuse.
In 2020, the resources had three focal points:
Information about both liturgies including preparation notes, guidance on support and additional prayers for the Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse
Praise to you Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
the source of all consolation and hope.
Be the refuge and guardian of all
who suffer from abuse and violence.
Comfort them and send healing
for their wounds of the body, soul and spirit.
Help us all and make us one with you
in your love for justice
as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.
Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating
your praise, both now and forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.Matthew 4: 123
This Service was written by Survivors and has been used as a deanery focus for prayer. The Bishops used parts of this service when they met together in Valladolid last May to listen to, and learn from the experiences of survivors of abuse.
A celebration of the Eucharist can be a powerful sign of the response of the local Church. It can provide a safe space for survivors and an opportunity for the community to show its concern. At the heart of the Eucharist is the broken body of an innocent victim which gives life and hope.
Leaflets prepared by the Survivors Advisory Panel:
The resources for the 2019 day of prayer included a meditation from a survivor, a penitential litany prayed by Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families, prayers from Boston and Armagh dioceses, intercessions, reflective praying of the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, and a reflection on the Passion according to John.