The leaders of Ireland's main churches have paid tribute to health and social care staff working on the frontline in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
In their joint statement, the leaders of the Church of Ireland, Methodist Church, Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church and the Irish Council of Churches said health workers "have chosen to walk towards the danger for our sake".
They added: "We owe it to them to play our part in limiting the spread of this virus by staying home and practising social distancing when we need to go out.
"With this crisis has come a heightened awareness of our interconnectedness and interdependency and a new recognition of the vast array of jobs that are essential to the functioning of our society.
"All our workers, whether called into service at this time, or asked to stay home, need to be adequately protected." The church leaders' group said that in the midst of this suffering, they can see many signs of hope," they added.
"The speed with which local communities, involving churches, community groups, charities, businesses and other local community leaders, who have mobilised in response to this unprecedented challenge, has been a great reassurance to many.
"We still have a long way to go in the fight against Covid-19 and its consequences.
"We will need many volunteers for our health service and to protect the vulnerable.
"Charities that provide much-needed support, also need donations, so please consider giving online.
"We are all called to make sacrifices, but the burden of suffering will not be evenly shared."
They added: "To all who are suffering, have lost loved ones and are anxious in these unprecedented days, we pray that you may find strength and comfort in the loving presence of Christ who promised to be with his people always."
The five church leaders have also invited all Christians to join them in prayer within their own households on Palm Sunday, April 5 from 3pm to 4pm.
Prayers will be offered for those who are sick, feeling fearful, the bereaved and those who are isolated and alone, healthcare professionals, delivery drivers, essential workers and all who continue to work on the frontline alongside business and political leaders.