Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer was illuminated with the names of victims lost to COVID-19 in an online ceremony called “For Every Life” that paid tribute to the 60,000 victims lost in Brazil and 500,000 lost worldwide. About 87,000 Brazilians heard messages of hope and solidarity combined with music and prayer in a live broadcast over social media. It recognized the losses of families and selfless work of healthcare workers and others helping the country through the pandemic.
“For Every Life is much more than an event, it is a unique opportunity to break our routine, changed by COVID-19, so that together we can think, reflect, pray and renew our commitment to take care of each other. We come together in the love of Christ, celebrating faith in Him who, with arms open, welcomes our fears and uncertainties. The pandemic will pass,” explained Father Patriky Samuel Batista, campaign executive secretary of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB).
Brazilian actress Cris Vianna hosted the ceremony on 1 July. It was broadcast on YouTube and Facebook of CNBB, Facebook of Caritas and on the official YouTube channel of the Brazilian singer Alcione.
She delivered a blessing from Pope Francis, "Missing Brazil, I impart an apostolic blessing asking Our Lady of Conception Aparecida to intercede for all of us."
Brazilian Cardinal Dom Orani João Tempesta led prayers and remarked, “It is an event in which we not only remember those who left, but we also see those who stayed. Courage, let's move forward."
With the event, CNBB, Cáritas Brasileira and Verified aimed to provide a tribute for each life, in addition to humanizing this critical moment that the world is going through, giving light to lost lives, which tend to be just statistics due to the high number of daily deaths.
“For Every Life” was supported by the Verified project, a global initiative of the United Nations, which seeks to flood the channels of communication with information verified and transmitted by the UN involving the themes of science, solidarity and solutions, thus countering the infodemic of misinformation in the midst of this pandemic that is plaguing the world.
Wrapping up the ceremony with a musical performance, singer Alcione rallied listeners, “I left the quarantine for a good cause. We have to join forces at this moment that the world is going through. Together we are stronger."