The proposal for a universal day of prayer was initially made in 2016 to the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) by a survivor of clerical abuse. At the time a press release from the Commission stated, “In the experience of our members, victims/survivors have often expressed a desire for prayer as an important element in their healing process.”
In response Pope Francis invited bishops around the world to establish a special day of prayer in the Church year to support the paths of human and spiritual recovery. This day is not only for victims and survivors, who have been so severely injured, either inside or outside the Church, but also for families and communities affected by grief for their loved ones.
In 2019 the Irish Bishops introduced a Candle and Prayer of Atonement as part of this day.
All parishes and religious communities are invited to organise their own service or moment of prayer; encouraged to light again the Candle of Atonement, and include a prayer for victims.
it is suggested that one of the prayers of the faithful on the Sunday following could also include a prayer for victims and survivors of abuse.
This year the Day of Prayer will take place on Friday, 24th February.
Liturgy for Blessing and Dedication of Candle of Atonement
Click below to download an MS Word version of the liturgy of Blessing and Dedication of the Candle of Atonement
Candle of Atonement Prayer
Lord, forgive us our many sins.
We grieve and repent with all our hearts for having offended you, for our great failings and neglect of the young and vulnerable.
We place all of those who have been hurt by the Church in any way into your loving hands and under the protection of Our Blessed Mother.
Lord, bring peace to their broken lives and show us all the way out of darkness and into the light of your Word.
May we as the people of God be more fully human, more fully Christ-like and more fully your people, that we may see the errors of the past and go forward with renewed hope and faith in Christ and in our Church.
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