MONTREAL -- Church bells will ring out across Montreal for 10 minutes starting at noon this Sunday to let those worried about COVID-19 know that they are not alone.

The idea was proposed and approved earlier this week by Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine and auxiliary bishop of Quebec Marc Pelchat.

Lépine explains the goal is to demonstrate the church's solidarity with families, the sick and their loved ones during Lent.

He notes the gesture will also applaud the dedication of health care professionals, as well as those who are overseeing the safety and well-being of others during these turbulent times.

Pelchat adds he hopes the familiar sound of the bells will warm hearts, especially for the elderly who are confined in their homes and may feel lonely or worried.

Church bells will continue to ring each Sunday until Easter on April 12.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020.