Joined by Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant leaders and faithful from around the world, Pope Francis led the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, imploring God’s mercy on humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will do so together, Christians of every church and community, of every age, language and nation,” he said.
“We pray for the sick and their families, for health workers and those who help them, for civic leaders, police and volunteers and for the ministers of our communities,” the Pope said.
Holding the prayer on the feast of the Annunciation, when the angel told Mary she would bear God’s son, Pope Francis said that “with full confidence we, too, place ourselves in God’s hands, and with one heart and soul, we pray.”
The Church of England asked Anglicans to join Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury in praying with Pope Francis and to share their photos on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #PrayTogether.
Archbishop Welby tweeted: “Please join us wherever you are. Prayer unites us in testing times.”
The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, encouraged all members to take advantage of the opportunity for a global prayer in the face of a global pandemic.
“As people across the globe are in their scattered working places at home, we will have the opportunity to unite our voices in praying to God with the words that our Lord Jesus Christ taught us,” Dr Tveit said. “At this challenging time, prayerful activities that unite us are a reminder that we are one human family.”
While many Christians woke extra early or stayed up late to pray at the same time as Pope Francis, others gathered for the common prayer at 12pm their local time.
Earlier in the day, at the end of his live streamed general audience, Pope Francis told viewers, “We will unite our voices of pleading to the Lord in these days of suffering when the world is harshly tried by the pandemic. May the good and merciful Lord hear the united prayer of his sons and daughters, who call on his omnipotence with trusting hope.”