The Vatican is asking all baptised people, regardless of whether they will be in Rome, to participate in October’s assembly of the Synod of Bishops with their prayers.

In a letter directed to all bishops released on 15 September, Cardinal Mario Grech, synod secretary-general, asked the world’s bishops ‘to pray for the synod and to urge every Christian community in your particular church, especially monastic communities, toward unanimous and incessant prayer.’

The letter read: ‘The synod is first and foremost an event of prayer and listening that does not solely involve the members of the synodal assembly, but every baptised person, every particular church.’

It continued, ‘Indeed, all are called in this moment to join ourselves to the communion of prayer and in the insistent invocation of the Holy Spirit so it may guide us in the discernment of what the Lord asks today of his church.’

The cardinal’s letter includes a blessing to be recited at the end of Sunday Masses on 24 September and 1 October, the two Sundays before the assembly opens on 4 October, and a series of prayer intentions for the church, bishops and other participants in the assembly, theologians, young people and all Christians.