Many attended an earthquake memorial service on Wednesday

Wednesday 22 February marked one year since the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Because it was Ash Wednesday, as well as joining a civic earthquake memorial service many Catholics also attended their own churches, or joined with other denominations to begin Lent by remembering and praying for those who died, were injured or have suffered as a result of the eathquake.

  • Parishes marked the anniversary in different ways, including offering prayers for those affected by the earthquake, stopping for a minute’s silence at 12.51pm, tolling church bells, and lighting candles for victims of the earthquake.
  • A Prayer composed by Fr Trevor Murray was sent to all parishes to be used in any Ash Wednesday earthquake memorial service and at Mass this the coming Sunday.
  • In Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland  a joint Anglican/Catholicearthquake memorial service took place.
  • At the Civic earthquake Memorial Service in North Hagley Park, Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Bishop Barry Jones,  introduced two minutes silence at 12.51pm and followed this with this with a prayer for victims and all those affected by the earthquake.

Bishop Jones said he had a lot of admiration for “the resilience and determination of Cantabrians” since last year’s earthquake and that it was important not to forget the ongoing suffering many are experiencing.

“There are people who are suffering mentally, afraid of another earthquake and how they might cope. Others are suffering physically and struggling to adapt to life with injuries. Some people are waiting for answers about the future of their houses or have been evacuated from rest homes and are away from their friends, families and networks. We need to pray for these people and open our hearts to God”, he said.


  • New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference
  • The Diocese of Auckland
  • Image: Japan Today



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