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Prayers for Peace and Justice on Hiroshima Day

Liturgy for the Midday Prayers for Peace and Justice on Hiroshima Day, Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 2010, at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

06 August 2010

 

Feast of the Transfiguration 6 August 2010

This liturgy was written for midday prayers at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. It may be reproduced and adapted for local usage.

Download as pdf document

Choose life - Choose peace with justice

We gather in silence.

As we gather we listen to the gong sounding 65 times,
calling us to remember, calling us to pray and act for peace.

As we gather and at any point during the service you are welcome to add the name of a place, person or situation to those already on the paper coming down from the cross.

Blessed is our God, now and unto the ages of ages.

Blessed is our God, who grants us peace and is the source of all peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

Loving God, you create and sustain all that is good and beautiful;
You give life to the earth.

You have called us to wholeness; to the fullness of life
But, as we gather here, we are conscious of our brokenness
Both as persons and as communities.

We have heard the cries for justice and peace
From all the corners of the earth.

We are moved by the tears, the pain and the agonies
of millions around the world.

We sense the dark clouds of war that creep over us;
We sit in the shadow of death.

Silence

Help us to fall on our knees and to cry for that vision of unity
Without which we would perish.

Teach us not to deal with others falsely,
Saying “peace, peace” when there is no peace.

Grant us grace that we may walk
In the paths of righteousness.

Bring us to yourself, that our hearts and minds
May discern the way of peace shown by your son.

For you alone have been our help in ages past,
And you are our shelter in the years ahead.

Amen

Reading of an eye witness account from Hiroshima

Sing: Ososo, ososo …

Litany of penitence

O Lord, our hearts are heavy
with the sufferings of ages,
with the crusades and the holocausts
of a thousand thousand years.

The blood of victims is still warm.

The cries of anguish still fill the night.

To you we lift our outspread hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

O Lord, who loves us like a father
who cares for us like a mother,
who came to share our life as a brother:

we confess before you our failure to live as your children,
brothers and sisters bound together in love.

To you we lift our outspread hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

Sung response: Nkosi Nkosi yibanceba

We have squandered the gift of life.

The good life of a few
is built on the pain of many;

the pleasure of a few
on the agony of millions.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

We worship death in our quest to possess ever more things;

We worship death in our hankering after
Our own security, our own survival, our own peace,

As if life were divisible.
As if love were divisible.
As if Christ had not died for all of us.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

Sung response: Nkosis Nkosi yibanceba

O Lord, forgive our life-denying pursuit of life,
And teach us anew what it means to be your children.

To you we lift out outstretched hands.

We thirst for you in a thirsty land.

The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:2-12

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Silence (possibility to listen to Wolfgang Borchert’s Say NO!)

Thanksgiving and intercession

O Lord our God, we thank you
for the many people
who have followed your way of life joyfully:

for the many saints and martyrs, men and women
who have offered up their very lived
so that your life abundant
may become manifest
and your kingdom may advance.

Sung response: Hale hale hale luja

They chose the way of your Son,
our brother, Jesus Christ.

In the midst of trial, they held out hope;
in the midst of persecutions, they witnessed to your power;
in the midst of despair, they clung to your promise.

Sung response: Hale hale hale luja

O Lord, we thank you for the truth
they have learned and passed on to us.

Give us courage to follow their way of life.

For your love and faithfulness
we will at all times praise your name.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We pray for the millions in our world who must go hungry today,
all who are exploited and marginalized because of their caste or class, colour or sex,
that they may not lose their hope,
and may find the strength to struggle for their dignity.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We call upon you for those who are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured
or threatened with death because of their witness to justice and peace.

For those who have “disappeared” because they dared to speak,
that their spirits may not be broken by their bodies’ pain.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

We remember those who live in regions torn by tension and war,
by disaster, famine and poverty…

We pray especially for the Middle East, for Pakistan, for Haiti, for the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the horn of Africa, for Sudan …

(other places and situations can be mentioned at this point)

We pray for the millions of refugees around the world,
that in the midst of tears and bitterness
they may discern signs of hope.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

Lord, into your hands we commend our earth,

ever-threatened with disaster,

and all persons and situations we have spoken about,

written down or remembered in the silence of our hearts this day.

Sung response: Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est

Strengthen our will for peace and justice;

increase our faith in your kingdom where “love and faithfulness will meet,

righteousness and peace will embrace”

and may your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer – said together in our different languages

We receive the assurance of God’s peace and blessing and we greet one another in the name of Christ’s peace, first saying together:

Blessed is our God, now and unto the ages of ages.

Blessed is our God, who grants us peace and is the source of all peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

Please take a peace crane with you as a fragile symbol of hope and a reminder to continue our prayers and action for peace. As we leave the gong will begin to sound 65 times again.

Sing: Dona nobis pacem

Download : Hiroshima_Day_prayers.pdf