For the first time since the second world war, Anglican Cathedrals in Sydney, Parramatta and Wollongong will lead public prayer for their cities as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic grow.
Because of the social-distancing measures in force, ministers at each of the Cathedrals will lead prayer, in the open, on the steps of their buildings.
The first prayer is this Thursday, March 19.
The bells of each Cathedral will ring at midday, twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, for several minutes, calling people to stop and pray wherever they are.
Canon Sandy Grant, senior minister of St Michael's Cathedral, Wollongong said Ministers will then lead brief prayers on the steps of each Cathedral.
People are free to attend and join these public prayers but are encouraged to observe full 'social distancing'.
"During the war years, St Michael's church bell rang each day at noon, with the aim that people would come to the church and pray for those serving and for 'the speedy termination of the war'," Canon Grant said.
"Likewise, we encourage people worried about the fragility of life to call upon God to show us his mercy during this troubling time.
"We don't yet know whether we will be able to celebrate Easter publicly together in our churches. But we believe that with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we have a sure hope, even in the face of life-threatening illness.
"There will be prayers for our cities, for medical staff, for health administrators, scientific researchers, other public servants, and our parliamentary leaders.
"Above all, we will ask for God to comfort those who are anxious, those who have fallen ill, and those who are bereaved."
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