Catholics encouraged to join in prayer for the late pope

Today at noon, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre will celebrate a Mass for the Dead for Pope Benedict XVI. The public is invited to attend the liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption or to watch the live stream on the cathedral’s YouTube channel.

The Funeral Mass of the late pope was celebrated today in Rome by Pope Francis. The Mass was streamed live Jan. 5 at 3:30 a.m. on the Vatican Media YouTube channel and the Vatican News Facebook page.  EWTN will broadcast the Mass today, Jan. 5, at 3 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.

In addition, the Archdiocese of Louisville is encouraging Catholics to pray for the late pope, who died on Dec. 31 at age 95.  A novena for the retired pope, organized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, begins today, Jan. 5, and continues through Jan. 13. Information about the novena has been sent to all priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Schools and parishes in the archdiocese are encouraged to offer prayers and other activities for Pope Benedict.

“The custom of praying the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father is to be encouraged, especially with school children, as is the recitation of the Rosary for the repose of his soul,” said a letter from the archdiocese to school principals. “Parishes have been encouraged to display a portrait of the late Holy Father with black bunting and church bells may be tolled.”

The archdiocese also has distributed digital prayer cards from the USCCB in remembrance of Pope Benedict in both Spanish and English. They include the following prayer:

Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

Almighty ever-living God, who made Pope Benedict XVI a wise teacher of your people, a gentle shepherd of your flock, and a faithful pastor of your Church, grant in your kindness that your humble servant, who in this life believed in you and loved you, may now receive your mercy and rejoice in your presence for ever in the glory of the Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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