Catholics across the Archdiocese of Cebu will join together in praying for rain to fall upon the province amid climate “calamity”.
The Oratio Imperata, a prayer issued by a bishop of a diocese when calamity occurs, was issued by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma today (Wednesday, April 3).
The directive comes just days after the province of Cebu was placed under a state of calamity due to the drought and lack of water supply brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.
The prayer pleads to “shower us with rain, provide us with water that we need,” while begging for survival amid the dry spell that has struck the province.
It begs an end to the El Niño, which is “depriving us of the fruits of our toil; low water supply means hunger and thirst for most of us”.
The prayer also beseeches “courage to take in hand the sufferings of the environment, and implore the people’s might to save and protect the beauty of nature”.
It appeals for “wisdom to restore whatever we have destroyed”.
Oratio Imperata is the Latin term for “obligatory prayer”, a set of prayers consisting of a liturgical action that a bishop offers during Sunday Masses, when a grave need or calamity occurs.
The rain prayer in full:
Most Gracious and Most Merciful God,
Creator, Source and Giver of all things,
Most powerful in heaven and on earth,
We give You honor and glory.
We thank You
For our home – the earth;
For our light – the sun, moon and stars;
For our solace – our family and friends, our community, our neighbors.
United as Your children, we come to You, pleading,
Shower us with rain, provide us with water that we need.
Father, Your children are begging to survive,
Hear us, we desire to live.
Prolonged drought is depriving us of the fruits of our toil;
Low water supply means hunger and thirst for most of us;
El Niño continues to threaten our relationship with one another.
O Lord, this is a very hostile phenomenon that we beg for You to end.
At this time of looming catastrophe, dear Lord, dwell in our hearts.
Teach us to be more generous; bring out the best in us;
Turn our eyes and ears toward the needs of others, especially the poor.
Move us to share more, care more, serve more and love more.
Holy God, You sanctify this earth to be our sacred abode.
Grant us courage to take in hand the sufferings of the environment;
Grant us might to save and protect the beauty of nature.
Grant us wisdom to restore whatever we have destroyed.
O Loving God, behold on us, Your beloved children
Feel us, feel for us;
Let heaven cry and its tears be our blessed rain.
Have mercy on us Lord, have mercy.
We beg you,
Most Gracious and Merciful God,
Please, let it rain. Amen