Prayer service

If your prayer service falls during Laudato Si’ Week, 16-24 May, be sure to register your participation in Laudato Si’ Week and to share your story on social media with the hashtag #LaudatoSi5.

How to meet

  • We encourage you to hold the prayer service via a video chat tool such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype.
  • If broadband Internet isn’t available in your location, you may want to try a group call on a mobile-based tool such as WhatsApp, Telegram, or another platform.
  • Directions for using these tools are widely available online.

Preparation

  • Find another person or a small group who will commit to leading this work with you.
  • Recruit a speaker to lead reflections for the prayer service. The speaker might be a pastor, a man or woman religious, or a lay leader.
  • Draw up an invitation list. Include all the members of your parish or other community. Write down their phone numbers, email addresses, or other contact information, which may be available from your parish administrator.
  • You may wish to extend special invitations to the sick, the isolated, and other vulnerable people. You may also want to invite members of other faith communities to join you in unity.
  • Decide on a date, time, and meeting location for the prayer service. One or two weeks before the prayer service is to take place, send that information to invitees. If your prayer service will be held online, send the link or other directions to join.

Implementation

  • One day prior to the prayer service and again one hour before it begins, send reminders to invitees.
  • If your prayer service will take place online, advise everyone of basic etiquette: they should mute their microphones unless they’re speaking and they should join the meeting on time.
  • If your prayer service will include a song, send a link to the sheet music.
  • Open the prayer service with brief introductions of the speaker and anyone else who will lead.
  • Begin with readings from Scripture, such as Deuteronomy 10:17-18, Matthew 25:35-40, or Job 12:7-10.
  • Invite the speaker to give an interpretation of the readings. The speaker could ask the group to consider the deep connections between all living beings.
  • Invite a singer to sing a familiar song. When the song begins, encourage all participants to un-mute their microphones and sing along.
  • Following the song, invite participants to briefly share their prayers. They may either pray aloud or by typing into the chat box, if you’re using a video meeting platform.
  • End with the Laudato Si’ Week prayer here. Remind participants that Catholics all around the world are praying with them.

Follow-up

  • In the days following the prayer service, follow up with attendees to let them know their prayers were appreciated.
  • If you have participants’ permission, send them other invitations to take action as the coronavirus pandemic changes course or as other opportunities to protect the vulnerable arise. Be sure to include an invitation to participate in the Season of Creation, which Pope Francis has invited all Catholics to celebrate. The season begins 1 September.