Today, March 25th, is, as you have probably realised, exactly nine months before Christmas. It is, therefore, on this day that the catholic churches commemorate the Annunciation – the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary announcing the conception of Jesus. In the English-speaking world this is also known as Lady Day which was one of the Quarter Days on which taxes were due to be paid.
Today, Pope Francis has called for Christians across the world and of all denominations to pause at 12h00 CET (ie. 11am GMT) to pray the Lord’s Prayer as a mark of solidarity in the face of the Coronavirus. The Lord’s Prayer is perhaps the single greatest unify factor in the Christian church and it is highly significant that the Pope should have chosen noon as the time to pray. This is the time when, especially today, Catholics would normally pray the Angelus, an ancient prayer celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Incarnation of Christ. To replace this with a prayer that can be shared by all denominations is a sign of the importance that he places on all Christians being able to pray together at this time.
So, please do take the time to pray the ‘Our Father’ at noon today and, in so doing, remember our sisters and brothers across the world who are also living though similar restrictions to our own.
I hope you might be inspired by this musical version of the prayer by the French worship group, Glorious.