Our four Kentucky bishops wrote this cover letter for the publication of the special booklet of prayers for life, Pro-Life Prayer Services for Times of Transition. We deeply appreciate the work of members of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky’s Pro-Life Committee and others in the Catholic community who helped to develop the prayers, provided editorial content, and created the beautiful artwork. We hope all who use these prayers at important stages in life’s moments are brought closer to our Creator, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit that moves us to pray.
The collection is available in both PDF and Word versions at the end of this page. In PDF format, users may download the entire booklet or each individual prayer services. Those wishing to adapt these services for particular occasions should download the text booklet and modify them with word processing software.
September 1, 2006
To the Catholic People of Kentucky:
Reverence for Life: The Pursuit of Justice, our 1999 pastoral letter on abortion and the consistent ethic of life, highlighted the essential place for prayer and worship in living the Gospel of life. In the Catholic tradition, participation in the Eucharist is the privileged sacramental celebration that empowers and supports us in our attempts to answer the call to service and the pursuit of justice on behalf of human life from conception to natural death.
The spirituality, however, that enlivens our participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church must be rooted in the spirit of prayer and contemplation which should mark our personal practice of the faith.
Living the Gospel of life, in particular, must be sustained by prayer, reflection, and solitude, for these are the indispensable spiritual means by which we as a people of and for life singly and together commune with God and in Christ become ministers of God’s grace — ministers of the Gospel of life.
As our pastoral letter challenges, “How can we expect to have a heart for the long struggle for life unless new hearts are created within us?” In a pre-eminent way, prayer sustains us with the assurance that “God is always ready to answer our prayers for help with the virtues we need to do his will.” (USCCB. Living the Gospel of Life, 1998: n. 27)
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the prayer of petition centers “on the desire and search for the Kingdom to come, in keeping with the teaching of Christ.” In effect, through prayer all the baptized work towards the coming of the kingdom. (CCC n. 2632) Sacred scripture exhorts the followers of Jesus to pray constantly and with perseverance.
In the Gospel of Life Pope John Paul II declared: “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer…. Let is therefore discover anew the humility and courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many … the evil practices and laws which are hostile to life.” [EV. n. 100]
In accord with the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities we continue to recommend that our dioceses, parishes, apostolic groups, and formation programs take initiatives “to sponsor programs of prayer and fasting as well as paraliturgical programs” to promote the Gospel of life. In addition to renewed participation in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church, we encourage Catholics to adopt programs of private prayer.
To that end, we are publishing “Pro-Life Prayer Services for Times of Transitions,” a collection of prayer services adaptable to a variety of settings. As a response to important pastoral concerns and needs, it is our hope that these prayer services will truly enhance and enrich the practice of intercessory prayer among our people, an indispensable component for building a new culture of life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., Archbishop of Louisville
Most Reverend John J. McRaith, Bishop of Owensboro
Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, Bishop of Covington
Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Lexington
Edward C. Monahan, Executive Director
The Pro-Life Committee of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky has prepared this special collection of prayers to help the community of believers pray. To foster wide use, CCK provides these services in individual units and as a complete booklet. Website visitors have our permission to duplicate each or all of them as needed. So you can easily adapt them to meet specific needs, we have provided a text version in Word format. May the grace and peace of God be with those who use these prayers.
- Celebrating the Sanctity of Life
- Uniting Our Suffering with the Cross of Christ
- Prayer with One Who Is Dying
- Entrustment Ceremony for an Adopted Child
- Memorial for the Loss of a Child
- Healing and Reconciliation after Abortion
- Blessing of Pilgrims on the March for Life
- Memorial for Deceased Homeless Persons
- On the Anniversary of a Death
- Vigil at the Time of an Execution
In addition to the individual services in PDF format available, the entire booklet is available in two formats: