In light of the lockdowns and quarantines imposed by governments of different countries, churches have decided to cancel all religious gatherings to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). With this, they have transitioned to holding Mass via livestream on different platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.
But not everyone has internet connections that can support the streaming of the Mass. To help address this logistics issue, the Vatican has decided to share some of Pope Francis’s homilies and some prayers. The Dicastery for Communication of the Holy See has made available a downloadable book entitled “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion—a Sure Support in Time of Trial.”
The book contains supplications, prayers, and some homilies of the pope. “A little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude, and in fear,” says Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication.
The Dicastery for Communication edited the contents and translated it to English, French, Spanish, and Italian to “help sustain the Church’s sense of communion amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
The book has three sections: Prayers from the Church’s tradition, Pastoral indications, and the Pope’s words.
Prayers from the Church’s Tradition
This section includes rituals, prayers, and supplications for difficult times. Blessings for the sick, prayers for liberation from evil, and other related texts from various eras can be found in this section.
This is where people can learn how they can still practice their faith amid the quarantines. According to Vatican News, “it focuses on elements that foster spiritual communion with the Church, and how to obtain forgiveness from sin despite the impossibility of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
This is a collection of Pope Francis’ messages and homilies relating to times of trial. Sunday Angelus messages and all his homilies from Masses at Casa Santa Marta from March 9 are included.
You can find the English version of the book here. All versions are free to download.