Mass will be offered in Knock in memory of those who have died of Covid-19 and people who have been bereaved.
The Catholic Bishops of Ireland will undertake a pilgrimage to the International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine to remember those affected by the pandemic.
This afternoon, Bishops will concelebrate Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Knock and the liturgy will include prayers of thanksgiving for those the clergy, religious and frontline workers.
November is a month that Catholics remember those who have passed away and memorial services for the dead have been taking place in parishes across the country.
Some families who have experienced bereavement during the pandemic will be travelling to the event in Knock, to represent the bereaved of Ireland.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland Eamon Martin said that restrictions to protect life and health “limited the number of people who could gather in support of the bereaved and curtailed the ability to offer the customary rituals surrounding death and burial”.
People have been invited to join the event by the Catholic Bishops – either in person or online – to pray for the intentions of all of those affected by the pandemic and in special remembrance of all those who have died.
Speaking ahead of the Mass, Archbishop Martin said November was the traditional time when the Catholic Church remembered loved ones who have died.
“This year in particular, we are moved by the heartbreak suffered by many thousands of families throughout Ireland who have experienced the death of parents, siblings, children and friends during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Archbishop Martin added that during the planning of this pilgrimage and Mass, the church was acutely aware of the additional distress caused to grieving families during the pandemic.
He said restrictions had curtailed the ability to offer the customary rituals surrounding death and burial and he thanked people for their prayers, sacrifice and perseverance during a difficult time.
“While the Covid-19 virus has yet to be defeated, nonetheless this commitment, along with the sterling efforts of our clergy, religious and frontline workers, has successfully served to protect human life and hearth.”
The Mass will be broadcast live on the RTÉ News Now digital television channel and RTÉ online at 3:00pm.
It will also be livestreamed on www.knockshrine.ie.
Additional reporting: Teresa Mannion