Ecumenical Prayer Service Marks One Year from the East Japan Great Earthquake and Disaster


  On Sunday March 11, one year after the East Japan Great Earthquake, the National Christian Council in Japan and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan held a “Joint Memorial Prayer Service of Remembrance and Hope for Revival upon the 1 Year Anniversary of the East Japan Great Earthquake and Disasters.” The Service took place in Kojimachi St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Tokyo. 


  Shortly before the service, at 2:46 PM, the exact time of the earthquake was marked by one minute of silence, followed by a tolling of the Church’s bell. The service, presided jointly by Archbishop Takeo Okada of the Catholic Church and Reverend Isamu Koshiishi, NCCJ Moderator and priest of the Anglican Episcopal Church, began at 3 PM. Catholic and Protestant clergy read in turn Scriptures and a responsive Psalm, and this was followed by a pastoral message from Archbishop Okada.


   After offerings were collected, four laypeople led the congregation in communal prayer and, finally, reports of respective support activities in the disaster region were offered by representatives of Protestant and Catholic churches.


 


  Approximately 1,000 people gathered for the service, and offerings totaled ¥584,796. These gifts will be shared equally between the NCCJ and the Catholic Church, and will be sent as assistance funds to Tohoku HELP (NCCJ) and Caritas Japan (Catholic).


 




Archbishop Okada dilivers his message


(Report and Photo by Toshiyuki Mineda)


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