Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has written a special opening prayer for the “Mass for Rain” as part of a prayer campaign to beg God for rainfall.
“O God, in whom we live and move and have our being, grant us sufficient rain so that, being supplied with what sustains us in this present life, we may seek more confidently what sustains us for eternity,” the prayer — officially called a “Collect” — reads. “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
A number of Sydney parishes have followed suit, employing the new prayer during the first week of the New Year just as 3,000 members of the Australian Defence Force reserve have been called to the aid of the Rural Fire Service in combating raging bushfires.
Archbishop Fisher has also summoned the faithful to offer prayers for “our courageous firefighters putting their own lives at risk to prevent further loss of life from bushfires in a number of Australian states.”
“We have sadly seen firefighters as well as members of the public lose their lives in this disaster with the NSW south coast particularly hard hit,” Fisher said.
“Let us unite in a prayer to our nation’s patron, Our Lady Help of Christians, to reach out to all in harm’s way at this difficult time,” he said. “Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.”
In November, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference launched a national prayer campaign for rain, which they recently extended to run “indefinitely” as the drought persists.
In their “National Prayer Campaign for Drought,” the bishops have called on Catholics to pray for “those affected by crippling drought conditions and to pray for the gift of rain.”
The prelates have also sought to mobilize Catholic parishes, schools, families, and other communities to participate in the National Prayer Campaign for Drought, which “also invites people to provide assistance to those most in need.”