Catholics around the world will create history by simultaneously praying for an hour to mark the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ on Sunday.
While Pope Francis will preside over the prayer in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, dioceses across the globe will simultaneously organise the prayer in local parishes.
In India, parishes will join the holy hour at 8.30pm on Sunday, to coincide with the Roman clock (5pm local time). In Mumbai, Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias will lead the hour-long prayer at the Holy Name Cathedral, Colaba.
“This is the first time there will be simultaneous prayers on such a large scale, and I have asked all parishes to observe it,” said Cardinal Gracias. “This prayer is not only to mark the feast but to also celebrate the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council,” he said.
According to Cardinal Gracias, while simultaneous prayers have been conducted across continents on previous occasions, this is the first time in the history of the church that all parishes under every diocese across the world will conduct prayers simultaneously.
The Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, also known as the Feast of the Corpus Christi, is observed to commemorate Jesus Christ’s suffering ,with bread and wine that symbolise his body and blood.
The Pope has also specified that the prayer focuses on peace, poverty alleviation and respect of women.
“While these intentions are universal, I feel they hold a special significance for our country, given how women are being treated and the stark divide between the rich and the poor,” said Cardinal Gracias.