Without Prayer there will be no Synod
Letter from the Cardinal Mario Grech to the Bishops of the World
Vatican, 14 September 2023
In a letter addressed to bishops and eparchs from all over the world, Cardinal Mario Grech, General Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod, invites the faithful from around the world to prayerfully participate in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will open in the Vatican on 4 October.
With this letter, the General Secretary reminds everyone that the Synodal Assembly is above all a spiritual event, of prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit who is the true protagonist of the event. In order to facilitate participation and solicit the prayerful support of the members of the assembly from local communities, the General Secretariat of the Synod has prepared a "Solemn Blessing" to be recited, in particular, at the end of Sunday Masses together with intercessory prayers. The Latin original is attached (translations are only working documents to facilitate the local Churches).
Respecting the richness of the liturgical tradition of the Oriental Catholic Churches sui iuris, the letter was also sent to the leaders of those Churches with a request to implement a similar blessing and intercessions in their Divine Liturgies.
Cardinal Grech's appeal is part of a series of initiatives aimed at recalling the eminently spiritual character of the synodal assembly and promoting the participation of the entire People of God through prayer, including:
· the creation, already in 2021, in collaboration with the World Pope's Prayer Network and the UISG (International Union of Superiors General), of a site (www.prayforthesynod.va) that proposes a specific prayer time for the Synod every first Monday of the month;
· the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil (www.together2023.net) on 30 September on the eve of the Synod broadcast in live-streaming from 4.30 p.m. on Vatican News channels (vaticannews.va);
· a spiritual retreat for assembly members prior to the opening of the assembly (1-3 October 2023).