The Diocese of Georgetown has organised pre-election vigils—for Catholics and anyone who would like to attend—to pray intensely for the nation, for those seeking office and for citizens’ own discernment in making wise choices for the future of the country ahead of tomorrow’s national and regional elections, Monday, March 2.
Following suggestions from members of the faithful, priests of Georgetown and its environs, namely the East Coast and East Bank, held a meeting and decided to have prayers for the nation at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Brickdam.
The vigil began immediately after the 5 p.m. Stations of the Cross and Mass (at 6 p.m.) until midnight on the first Friday in Lent, Friday, February 28.
Catholic Standard reported that the event took the form of quiet prayer interspersed with hymns and public intercessions. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and the vigil ended with a blessing. Those unable to attend were asked to join in spirit with their prayers for the intentions.
Vicar General Fr John Persaud said priests and community leaders who were not part of the event in the Georgetown area were also asked to organise similar activities in their areas, the format and details of these varied according to local parish traditions and planning.
Fr Persaud added that the vigils were not only an invitation to pray for the nation, but for those seeking office, and for all Guyanese to respect each other even when they disagree on issues.
“I can’t ever understand while we are brothers and sisters, we meet at church and so many other places, schools and workplaces, we live like brothers and sisters and so on and then we announce an election and we are no longer…I challenge the Guyanese public to really think seriously about this because we can think differently, we can have different views and ideas about things even in our own families we will have this happening but this is OK, this does not make us enemies of each other,” he said.
Early elections were planned after the government of President David A Granger lost a vote of no confidence by a margin of 33–32 on December 21, 2018, the government having held a one-seat majority since the 2015 elections. However, one of its own MPs, Charrandas Persaud of the Alliance for Change voted with the opposition. Despite the parliamentary term expiring on September 18, 2019 and protests by the opposition, President Granger announced on September 25 that the elections would be held on March 2, 2020.