The US bishops’ conference has released a brief manual with liturgical and musical resources to assist dioceses, parishes, and other groups in prayer for Benedict XVI and for the Church as a new pope is elected and takes office.
Monsignor Richard Hilgartner, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, writes in the introduction that the Church received the news of the Pope’s resignation “with great surprise tinged with sadness.”
“During his reign, he has been a faithful witness to Christ, and in this decision, he teaches us with his integrity and humility, putting the needs of the Church first,” Monsignor Hilgartner said. “Such a message is most appropriate as we embark once again on the pilgrimage of Lent.”
The resources offered by the bishops, he added, are to “pray for Pope Benedict XVI, to give thanks for his pontificate, and to pray for the Church as we look to the future and the election of a new Pope.”
The manual includes liturgical prayers for the Pope, as well as for the time of the election, and for the new Bishop of Rome.
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