Digital Church – Through Lent with “Pope SMS”
From Ash Wednesday, the Catholic Church in Austria will again be offering an SMS campaign with Pope’s thoughts during Lent. Until Holy Saturday, interested parties will receive a free text message with quotes from Pope Francis on the 40 days of Lent, reported Kathpress. These are words of the Pope on various occasions over the past year. You can register by sending an SMS with the password “PAPST” to the telephone number 0664/6606651.
“The daily impulses of the Pope make the center of the Christian belief in a merciful God clear and at the same time motivate a positive Christian life”, said the media officer of the Bishops’ Conference, Paul Wuthe, about the aim of the action. This “somewhat different SMS” is understood as an invitation to “slow down” and “reflect on the essentials”. Topics are the “great words of faith” such as God, creation, charity, repentance, reconciliation, prayer, the cross and life. “Pope Francis is concerned with the everyday suitability of faith, and he sums it up in his words,” said Wuthe about the selected quotations.
No shipping costs
Sending the short messages is free of charge for the recipient. The SMS service works for all cell phones of Austrian mobile network operators. After registering by SMS, you will receive a Pope SMS every day except Sundays from Ash Wednesday, February 17th to Holy Saturday, April 3rd. Registrations during Lent are always possible. The Pope SMS campaign was carried out for the first time in the run-up to the Pope’s visit in 2007 and in Lent 2008, and after an interruption since 2011, annually during Lent. Information on the campaign is available during Lent at www.katholisch.at.
The corona pandemic also has an impact on the liturgy on Ash Wednesday, with which Lent begins in the Catholic Church: This year the ash rite will be donated “wordlessly and without touch”, as the Vatican Congregation for Worship has established worldwide. According to Kathpress, the believers will therefore not receive an ash cross on their foreheads this year, but rather the ashes will be sprinkled on their heads. For those who are in a hurry and those who cannot attend church services, there are numerous offers this year under the motto “Ash cross to go”. Ash crosses are donated for them in compliance with the corona safety regulations, for example at train stations or city center squares.
At the Ash Wednesday church services, prayers will also be given for all those who have died of Corona this year. This is happening as part of a Europe-wide prayer initiative. The Council of the European Bishops’ Conferences has called for a country to pray especially for those who have died of the corona pandemic on each day of Lent. Austria and Albania will have their turn on Ash Wednesday. (apa)