BARELY six months before Election Day, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) mandated all parishes in the country to offer prayers during Masses for the forthcoming May 2022 polls.

In its Circular 21-53, the CBCP enjoined all parishes nationwide to offer prayers for the "peaceful, credible, and transparent" conduct of the elections.

"We enjoin all parishes, shrines and chapels in the country to pray the Prayer for 2022 Elections prepared by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in all our Sunday Masses," said CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles.

"The prayer is similar to the Oratio Imperata but its focus is on the 16 values enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution," he added.

Valles said the directive stems from the request of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) for an endorsement of its “Prayer Power Campaign” for the May 2022 elections.

He said the Prayer for 2022 Elections, as approved by the CBCP Permanent Council, will be launched on the First Sunday of Advent, November 28.

But Valles said that since there is already a number of prayers being recited during Sunday Masses, it is now recommended that praying the Oratio Imperata for Protection against the Covid-19 shall be before the Masses.

The Prayer for the 2022 Elections shall be every first and third Sunday of the month, while the Prayer for the Synod on Synodality should be every second and fourth Sunday of the month, both of which will be after the Post Communion Prayer of the Mass. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)