As local and regional church organizations express the desire to sing and pray for peace in ways larger than church walls can hold, World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca encouraged these public pilgrimages for justice and peace.
The Council of Churches in the Netherlands, along with peace organizations there, are planning a street prayer for peace, ultimately with a “human chain” of people singing Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace) across Europe.
Harling’s hymn, entitled “Pray for Peace,” reads: “Pray for peace, work for peace, care for peace, make way for peace/Blessed are those who stand for peace and freedom.”
Sauca encouraged churches and all people of good will to support such creative efforts, sing for peace in their own homes, and bring communities together with a unified voice. “Together, we can continue to show the world that there is an alternative to warfare,” said Sauca. “Whether it is a human chain of beautiful voices in song, or a quiet prayer uttered in a corner by someone who fears for their loved ones, every voice for peace matters.”
Sauca also encouraged strengthening interreligious bridges in peace-building across the world.
“As we get ready as Christians to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, Muslims and Jewish communities are celebrating Ramadan and Pessach during the same time period in 2022,” reflected Sauca. “The thought of visibly joining hands in a human chain with our partners is inspiring in a time when we are all yearning for peace.”
Iona Community shares “Call to Peace with Justice”
The Iona Community is sharing a “Call to Peace with Justice” that includes an invitation to three Global Gatherings for Peace on 7, 21 and 28 April. “All are most welcome as we pray, and act together for peace with justice,” wrote Ruth Harvey, Iona Community leader, as part of the global invitation.
The Iona Community was founded in 1938 in Glasgow and Iona, a small Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland where the Irish Monk Columba established a monastery in 563 AD. The site of the medieval Benedictine abbey is now the home of the Iona Community and a centre for pilgrimage. The Iona Community is known throughout the world for its witness combining social action, work for peace and spiritual life.
As pilgrimages, prayers, songs and light displays unfold across the world, WCC is encouraging sharing on social media to bring forth the unity among all those striving for peace and use the hashtags #Pray4Peace #One4Peace.
Find the “Pray for Peace” hymn here