WORLD, November 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict’s request for Catholics throughout the world to observe a “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life” on Saturday, November 27 has met with an massive positive response from around the world and from pro-life leaders.
Joseph Meaney, director of international coordination for Human Life International, the world’s largest pro-life organization, said this weak, “We hope that Catholics understand the historical significance of Pope Benedict’s invitation.”
“The Holy Father for the first time in history has asked the Universal Catholic Church to gather together in a common liturgical event and pray for our preborn brothers and sisters who are being slaughtered around the world by abortion and other attacks of the culture of death.”
On November 27th, the Holy Father will celebrate a prayer vigil in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for the intention of the unborn, coinciding with Vespers on the eve of the First Sunday of Advent.
At the request of the Holy Father, a letter was sent to all the episcopal conferences of the Catholic Church worldwide this past June asking them to take part in this prayer and to organize prayer vigils at the beginning of Advent in all local churches.
The Holy Father asked that “all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.”
Given the importance of the Holy Father’s request, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat of Divine Worship and the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities have collaborated in developing Vigil prayer aids for dioceses and parishes.
Four possible schemes for observing the vigil, which may include a Marian Procession, Evening Prayer (Vespers), recitation of the Rosary, and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, as well as a Rubric for priests and liturgy directors, have been produced and posted to the USCCB website.
“We are grateful to dioceses that have already made plans to celebrate this special Vigil in union with our Holy Father and the Church all around the world,” the US bishops said.
The Vespers on the First Sunday of Advent and Vigil for nascent human life will be broadcast live from St. Peter’s Basilica. Access information is available from the Vatican Television Center here.
The USCCB Vigil prayer aids are available here.