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Archbishop of Dublin backs worldwide call to prayer at 11am

Archbishop Michael Jackson is endorsing the call made by Pope Francis for Christians of all denominations around the world to pray the Lord’s Prayer at midday CET – 11am in Ireland – today, Wednesday March 25 2020.

“I commend the Call to Prayer centred on the prayer Our Lord gave his disciples. The Our Father is the simplest and most direct Christian prayer known to every generation in every land. I encourage all to say it at this time of critical anxiety and anxious crisis,” the Archbishop said yesterday evening.

Pope Francis has invited Christian leaders and congregations worldwide to pray the Lord’s Prayer simultaneously on the Feast of the Annunciation. Speaking on Sunday, he called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”, adding, “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried”.

His call has also been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu–Fearon.

Wave of Gratitude

Meanwhile, a Dublin rector is aiming to spread a wave of gratitude throughout the country to recognise the work being done by healthcare staff and others to combat the coronavirus. The Revd Ása Bjork Ólafsdóttir, rector of Christ Church Dun Laoghaire, is encouraging people to come to their front doors at 7pm every evening (while observing strict social distancing) to applaud all who are working so hard to contain the virus. She is also asking church bellringers to ring church bells for a minute before 7pm if possible.

“This has been happening across Europe where people have been showing their appreciation for everyone in the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus. The people are not together but together we can show our appreciation with some simple steps. There is the bonus that people can interact with their neighbours in a safe way and make sure that everyone is ok,” Ása explained. “This evening, just before 7pm, I will ring the church bells for a few moments before going to the front to applaud.”

The idea has received support locally in Dun Laoghaire and now Ása is hoping that her fellow clergy will join in to spread the wave of gratitude throughout the country. She is appealing to them to ring their church bells and encourage parishioners to applaud the work of those in the front line.