The Washington Cathedral has begun a daily vigil of prayer for the American hostages in Iran, every hour on the hour.

During the regular hours when the cathedral is open, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the prayer service will be held in one of the chapels. The vigil will continue after closing hours in the Chapel of the Good Shepard, with an outside entrance on the north side of the cathedral, which is open 24 hours a day.

In addition, the cathedral bells are to be rung at noon each day as long as the hostages are detained.

A special prayer for use in churches or private devotions has been distributed by the cathedral:

"O God of mercy and power, look with compassion upon the hostages held in Tehran.Stand by them by day and by night, grant them strength in body and mind, and give them patience to the time of their release.

"Sustain their relatives and all who love them in their plight; guide our president in his decisions and preserve peace in the world.

"Finally O Lord, we pray for the people of Iran and America, that looking to the welfare of each other we come through anger and strife to reconciliation and friendship."