The Catholic Church in France is reviving a tradition begun in the 17th century of praying for the country on 15 August to hope the government does not listen to “special requests” and to oppose gay adoption.

Reuters reports that the Church will revive the 15 August Prayer for the Assumption, begun by Louis XIII decreed in 1638.

It fell out of use after World War Two, the agency reported.

The Catholic Bishops Conference in France has now released the text of a prayer it recommends churches use next Wednesday to mark the event.

Celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church prays for those whose decisions affect the economy in a time of hardship.

It then asks God that those who have been elected to govern the country have a “sense of common good of society” which “outweighs special requests” they receive.

Lawmakers, it hopes, will follow the “guidance of their conscience”.

In opposition to the intended legalisation of gay adoption, the prayer entreaties God that children “cease to be objects of desires and conflicts of adults to fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother”.

The Church also asks for “the courage to make hard choices and a better quality of life for all”.

On 3 July, France’s prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, confirmed that gay couples will be given marriage and adoption rights in accordance with the election pledges of new president Francois Hollande.

Mr Ayrault was making a keynote speech setting out the socialist government’s five-year political and social agenda.

He told parliament: “In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination.

“Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing. The government will respond to that.”