Nationwide Prayer Vigil for Life to Take Place January 18-19
January 9, 2024
Each January thousands of people gather in Washington, D.C. to uphold the dignity of all human life and pray for an end to abortion. Nearly fifty years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade, the court overturned the 1973 decision by giving individual states the power to regulate abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The 2022 ruling marked the beginning of a new phase in protecting human life. As Catholics across the country gather again this year in Washington for the March for Life, they are also invited to observe a nationwide prayer vigil January 18-19 to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life is hosted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America’s Office of Campus Ministry.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life will once again be held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the March for Life. The event will begin with an Opening Mass at 5:00 PM ET in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church. The principal celebrant and homilist for the Opening Mass will be Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Immediately following the Mass, a National Holy Hour for Life will take place with a Eucharistic Procession, Eucharistic Adoration, Recitation of the Rosary, and Benediction. The Opening Mass and Holy Hour of the National Prayer Vigil for Life will be broadcast on various Catholic networks and will be livestreamed on the Basilica’s website at www.nationalshrine.org/mass. Continuing into the night, livestreamed Holy Hours led by bishops from various dioceses around the country will be shared on the USCCB’s website.
The vigil concludes at 8:00 AM on Friday, January 19 with the Closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus.
The full schedule of the 2024 National Prayer Vigil for Life is listed below. (All times are in Eastern Time.)
Thursday, January 18:
4:45 PM Chaplet of Divine Mercy
5:00 PM Opening Mass with Bishop Burbidge
7:00 PM Holy Hour for Life
8:00 PM Live-stream of bishop-led holy hours throughout the night
Friday, January 19:
8:00 AM Closing Mass with Bishop Fernandes
Live-streaming information for the overnight bishop-led holy hours from various dioceses will be provided on the USCCB’swebsite.
The live television broadcasts on January 18 from 5:00-8:00 PM and on January 19 from 8:00-9:00 AM will be provided by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and will be available via live-stream on the Basilica’s website. For more information about on-site attendance at the basilica for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, please visit the information page on the basilica’swebsite.