This liturgy, originally prepared as a Liturgy for Remembrance Sunday,
has been adapted for use also as a Prayer Vigil for Peace.

 

Opening Responses
Reader Bruised and black clouds shed heavy tears on the fields of Flanders
fields become graveyards
in which were buried the flower of a generation.
ALL AND GOD WEPT
FOR THESE WERE HIS CHILDREN.
m
Reader Bruised and black clouds
shed heavy tears on the cities of Europe
of Japan,
cities shrouded in the dust of desolation
camps wreathed in the smoke of human cremations
people in confusion whispering - "Please God, never again".
ALL AND GOD WEPT
FOR THESE WERE HIS CHILDREN.
m
Reader Bruised and black clouds shroud cities
shopping streets
business centres
refugee camps
and people gaze on devastation
wrought by evil on innocence.
ALL AND GOD WEEPS
FOR THESE ARE HIS CHILDREN.
m
Reader Bruised and black clouds
shed tears over a whole world
bowed – bloodied by battle
cowed and weary of war
her roads clogged by refugees –
with nowhere but earth to call home.
ALL AND GOD WEEPS
FOR THESE ARE HIS CHILDREN.
m
Reader God of life
drawing life and death together in Yourself
uniting the lost and the loving
be among us as we gather.
ALL GUIDE OUR PRAYING AND LOVING
CHERISH OUR REMEMBERING
GOD, OUR GOD
WHO FORGETS NO-ONE.
m
Suggested Scriptures
Is. 2: 4; Is. 9: 2b - 7; Ps 46; James 3: 13-18; Wisdom 3: 1-9; Wisdom 4: 7-15;  Job 19: 1, 23-37; Rev. 14: 13; Thess. 4: 13-18; Matt. 11: 25-30; John 5: 24-29;
 .
A Sung Response 
There is a wide selection of music around dealing with issues of Justice and Peace. What you choose will depend on your repertoire but it might be worth looking at material from the Wild Goose Worship Group, Laudate (published by Decani) for music which has a contemporary feel.
m..
Ideas for "ritual"
Anxiety - sadness - anger and frustration are likely to be present among those gathered.
There is a place for all of these feelings - though it may be hard to find ways to express them all within the liturgy. Using a ritual action can give voice to emotions too deep to put into words.

 

bullet Place a large map of the world at the foot of a cross - or in the middle of the gathering (if in a circle). Identify the troubled places of the world - Iraq - Afghanistan - Indonesia - Middle East - Zimbabwe - and so on. 
Include also places where decisions are being made - United Nations - governments in U.S. and Europe. 
You may also like to include countries in e.g. Southern Africa where starvation is facing so many people - when vast sums are being redirected to weaponry and away from humanitarian aid. Place a tee-light on each - a sign of asking God to be a light to the people.

 

bullet Either on its own - or alongside the above, create a Litany - naming the place and its people. Suitable words might be:
We light a light for ...  - we remember them.
or
We pray for ... 
or
Be gracious to the people of ... and bless them
or
Do not abandon the people of ... for these are your children

 

bullet Collect images of war and conflict - with quiet music lay these at the foot of a cross

 

bullet Collect symbols - e.g. photo of soldier - train ticket (for refugees) - soft toy (for children caught up in conflict) - a handkerchief (for those who weep) - and so on... Write a short Intercession/ reflection piece and place these under the cross or by a lighted candle.

 

bullet Invite people to write the names of nations and peoples in conflict on a Roll of Remembrance- place this at the foot of a cross - or in the midst of the gathering with a lighted candle and posy of flowers next to it.

 


bullet The pain of the world is too great for one person to pray for. Consider having cards with the name of a country - or a person representative of a country or circumstance... e.g. a child in Iraq - a soldier preparing for war - a Palestinian in a refugee camp - a bereaved Israeli - a homeless Afghanistani - etc. Photographs from newspapers could also be used.
Invite people to take one card/ picture and to focus their prayer on that situation. Suggest that they put the card on a desk - bedside table - on a noticeboard so that simply glancing it becomes a prayer.  
  .
Closing Responses
Reader From the rising of the sun until its setting
ALL GOD OF PEACE
GOD OF JUSTICE
GOD OF INFINITE MERCY - 
REMEMBER YOUR PEOPLE.
m
Reader From the bleakness of war to the lavish warmth of peace
ALL GOD OF PEACE
GOD OF JUSTICE
GOD OF INFINITE MERCY - 
REMEMBER YOUR PEOPLE.
 
Reader From the peace of eternity to the pain of the present moment
ALL GOD OF PEACE
GOD OF JUSTICE
GOD OF INFINITE MERCY - 
REMEMBER YOUR PEOPLE.
m
Reader We turn to you God
asking that you enfold our planet in your justice, peace and truth.
Enlighten the minds of those making decisions -
melt the hearts of those inflicting cruelty upon your children
and strengthen the resolve of all who pray for peace.

And may God bless us - and the peoples who share our planet

ALL THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
Reader And may God hold our world and all its people
in the palm of his hand.
AMEN
 

2005 Wellspring

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