How are some more special than others?
On the News, people always say special prayers when a tragedy occurs, not just ordinary ones. Maybe they are particular prayers for particular intentions. Maybe the folks who write the News don't really have the correct turns of phrase.
It's like the word community which is redundant in many contexts or used when actually there isn't one and people are at each other's throats.
Catholic community = Catholics, but in a slightly more cuddly way.
The community = especially apt after a riot, when people are sweeping up glass etc.