An Advent Liturgy: Prepare the Way of Peace

An Advent Liturgy: Prepare the Way of Peace

With WATER and Women of Dignity USA

By Diann L. Neu


Sunday, December 3, 2023 at 11.30am ET


Preparation: Gather an Advent wreath or candle, matches, bread and water.


Call to Gather


We come together on this first Sunday of Advent in a world at war. We come not to debate politics but to pray for peace, not to create military strategies but to open our hearts to the Spirit of Love and Justice and be part of the force that creates peace and says “Stop the war.” We gather to Prepare the Way of Peace.


We gather in the spirit of those who have died—may they rest in peace. We gather in the spirit of those held hostage, imprisoned, those whose status is in doubt. We gather in the spirit of those who are making decisions, hopeful that our prayers will warm their hearts and open their minds to a moral creativity that will bring peace without bombing and killing. We gather in the spirit of the Divine who calls us to live in peace from generation to generation. We gather to prepare the way of peace.


We gather because we must. We can’t keep from singing. We can’t keep from praying for an end to violence and the beginning of a new day for our children’s children and for us. We gather linked in a special way to our siblings in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, and Russia, praying for their safety and hoping with them that these wars will end faster than they started. We gather to prepare the way of peace.


Chant: “Paz, Queremos Paz”


Paz, queremos paz

Y libertad en este mundo.

Peace, we want peace

And liberty in this world.


Let Us Pray


Divine Peace of Many Names, Yahweh, Allah, Holy One, Wisdom Sophia,

Your power and grace, not ours, sustain the universe.

Teach us to hallow your names throughout the world.

In your mercy, grant peace.


You chose Sarah, Hagar, and Abraham to birth many nations.

And you continue to speak through prophets and peacemakers in every land.

Forgive us, their offspring, for wars and misdeeds toward one another.

Save us from further terrorism and destruction that all children may live in peace.

In your mercy, grant peace.


Compassionate and merciful God,

Change the hearts of extremist organizations, hate groups

And those who turn to violence as a solution.

Help us find together a way to peace that serves each nation and its people.

In your mercy, grant us peace.


Guardian of all life,

Guide the rulers of Israel, Palestine, and their allies in the Middle East

Guide the leaders of the United States and its allies

To act responsibly to bring peace and welfare to humankind.

In your mercy, grant us peace.


Divine Peace and Justice,

Guide all religious communities around the world

To work for peace with justice and recognize it in unexpected places

So that all may have food, housing, prosperity, and peace.

In your mercy, grant us peace.


Ancestors Call for Peace

Considering the state of the Middle East and Ukraine, it seems apt to listen to our ancestors’ views on peace, to lean on their wisdom.


“The only alternative to war is peace and the only road to peace is negotiations.”
 Golda Meir (1898-1978), American/Israeli politician; Israel’s first minister of labor, 1949-56; foreign minister, 1956-66 and prime minister, 1969-74. Quoted in Twentieth-Century Women Political Leaders by Claire Price-Groff (1998).


“For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), American lecturer, humanitarian, First Lady, government official, writer; wife of Franklin D. R- (1882-1945, politician; 32nd U.S. President, 1933-45); niece of Theodore R- (1858-1919; war hero, politician; 26th U.S. president, 1901-09); U.S. delegate to United Nations, 1945-53, 1961; United Nations Prize, 1968. Broadcast, Voice of America, 11 November 1951


“We could have peace in one year if women were organized.”
 Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), American politician, suffragist, pacifist; U.S. Congresswoman (R-Montana), 1917-1919 and 1941-1943; first woman elected to U.S. Congress or to any national government; cofounder, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1918; NOW Susan B. Anthony Hall of Fame, 1972; only person in Congressional history to vote against U.S. entry into World Wars I and II. Quoted in Women Suffragists by Diana Star Helmer (1998 ).


“My soul. . .can see no other remedy pleasing to God than peace. Peace, peace, therefore, for the love of Christ.”
 Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Italian mystic, diplomat; patron saint of the Dominicans. Quoted in Catherine of Siena: Fire and Blood by Igino Girodani; Thomas J. Tobin, tr. (1959).


“We will try to be holy,
We will try to repair the world given to us to hand on.
Precious is this treasure of words and knowledge and deeds
that moves inside us.
Holy is the hand that works for peace and for justice,
holy is the mouth that speaks for goodness,
holy is the foot that walks toward mercy.”
 Marge Piercy (1936- ), American editor, poet, feminist, novelist, writer; founder of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS). The Art of Blessing the Day (1999).


“The peace crusade is going to take a long time. I will devote the rest of my life to world peace, but that will not be long enough. I will encourage others to carry on the work when I am done.”
 Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), American poet, women’s rights activist, civil rights activist, suffragist, lecturer, writer, social reformer; founder, Mother’s Day (orig. 2 June 1872), as a peace day; founder, Girl Scouts of America. Seattle Times, A8 (4 July 1992).

“The first step in the direction of a world rule of law is the recognition that peace no longer is an unobtainable ideal but a necessary condition of continued human existence.”
 Margaret Mead (1901-1977), American editor, museum curator, writer, scientist, anthropologist; wife, Gregory Bateson (1904-80, anthropologist), daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson and Edward Sherwood C; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1979. New York Times Magazine (26 November 1961).

“I am leaving this legacy to all of you…to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die – the dream of freedom and peace.”
 Rosa Parks (1913-2005), American activist, matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1996; Congressional Gold Medal in 1999; first woman and the second African American to lie in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

Gospel Reading for Today Mark 13: 24-37

“Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake. You do not know when the appointed time will come… What I say to you, I say to all: stay alert!”

Group Sharing

We will not solve the world problems today, but we can take a tiny step forward by reflecting on how we see the current conflict in the Middle East. Learning how other people see it can help us to understand why there are so many conflicting views. In small groups:


  1. Identify for ourselves and in conversation where we start on this matter—where we are located, with whom we are allied, and how we see the situation in all of its complexity, especially with regard to women, children, and female identified persons.


  1. Then we can begin to imagine how we might be useful: what tools and insights from our experiences especially as Catholic lesbians—both Catholic commitments and what we have learned from being unwelcome that might be unique and relevant resources for trying to have meaningful conversations especially with people who see this differently.


Prayers of the Faithful


Song: “Dona Nobis Pacem”


Dona nobis pacem pacem,

Dona nobis pacem.

Give to us peace…


Blessing Bread


Hold your bread as we pray together.

Blessed are You, Divine Peace of Many Names, for you give us this daily bread to nourish us as we work for peace. As we take, bless, break, and eat this bread, fill us with strength that eases our fears and deepens our resolve to work for peace. May those most in need of food be fed now.


Blessing Water


Hold your water as we pray together. We drink water instead of wine today as a symbol of our fasting for peace, especially in the Middle East and Ukraine.

Blessed are You, Divine Peace of Many Names, for you give us this water, a symbol of life, to quench our thirst as we work for peace.  As we take, bless, and drink this water, a symbol of fasting for peace, fill us with strength that eases our fears and deepens our resolve to work for peace.


Actions for Peace

. Visit a Ukrainian cathedral or church.

. Visit a mosque or synagogue.

. Protest the war.

. Pray for peace.


Sending Forth


May Divinity of Many Names fill us with peace.

May our peace radiate to loved-ones, family, friends, colleagues, and all we meet.

May the peace of this circle touch communities around the world so that all may live in peace soon.  Amen.


As we go forth during this time of Advent, let us remember to peek outside at night and look at the stars, the trees, the moon, the cosmos.

As we yearn for peace, let us remember to connect with Divine glory.


Song: “Let There Be Peace” Sweet Honey in the Rock,vid:QrXB3xD8NRI,st:0



@2023 Diann L. Neu,