The Catholic Church will be praying for society to uphold human life and dignity when it celebrates a Day for Life on Sunday 30 December. All 2,800 Catholic parishes across England and Wales have been sent posters, prayer leaflets and notes for planning church services. A special Day for Life website has also been set up at http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/dfl, which includes these resources. The notes for church services sent out by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales say: "We give thanks with joy for God's loving gift of life. We recall our own failures, and the failures of our society to protect human life, to uphold human dignity, and to act with mercy and compassion to all. We turn to God in gratitude for his treasured gift of life, and pray especially for those in situations of stress, fear and difficulty." In the posters and prayer leaflets, Catholics are being encouraged to "make each day a Day for Life". In his letter to parish priests, Archbishop Peter Smith, Chairman of the bishops' Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, writes: "Attacks on the dignity and sanctity of human life at every stage have been increasing alarmingly in recent years. It is important that we do what we can to help parishioners to observe this Day as a celebration of life as God's gift, with all that flows from it." During Mass on the Day, prayers will be said for: - children and families - mothers and expectant mothers - those troubled by decisions they have made - those nearing death, or suffering from chronic pain - nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers - medical researchers - those who provide practical support for pregnant women - legislators
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