September 2020 WATERritual

Pray for Peace on Earth

By Diann L. Neu with Anali Martin

Listen to the audio of our July 2020 WATERritual here.

 

“I will write peace on your wings

 and you will fly all over the world.”

Sadako Sasaki, Report from Hiroshima

 

Preparation

Place a candle and a peace crane nearby. To make a peace crane or several, look to this video for guidance/instructions.
 

Call to Gather

Welcome to this WATERritual, Pray for Peace on Earth. Every year on September 21 people around the world come together on International Day of Peace “to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” We gather with them tonight. We gather virtually at this Equinox time, September 21, when the seasons are changing in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. We gather during this Hispanic Heritage Month with peacemakers focusing on the dignity of Central American immigrants at the US and Mexican borders, especially for the safety of the children.

We gather honoring and grieving the death of the Notorious Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on September 18. We gather mourning the death of Virginia Ramey Mollenkott on September 25, a pioneer in feminist biblical analysis, feminist theology, and LGBTQ theologies.

We gather during the uncertainties generated by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the deplorable systemic violence of racism and white supremacy, and the devastating effects of climate change that threaten life on Earth through fires on the West coast and hurricanes in the South. In the midst of the chaos of our world and VOTING in the United States with the first presidential debate tonight, we gather to Pray for Peace on Earth.
 

Light a Candle for Peace on Earth.

Light your candle and say out loud in your own space: “I pray for peace on earth.”
 

Centering Prayer

Breathe in peace. Breathe out peace. (3x)
 

Song: How Can I Keep from Singing?

My life goes on in endless song

Above earth’s lamentations,

I hear the real, though far-off hymn

That hails a new creation.
 

Through all the tumult and the strife

I hear its music ringing,

It sounds an echo in my soul.

How can I keep from singing?
 

While though the tempest loudly roars,

I hear the truth, it liveth.

And though the darkness ’round me close,

Songs in the night it giveth.
 

No storm can shake my inmost calm,

While to that rock I’m clinging.

Since love is lord of heaven and earth

How can I keep from singing?
 

When tyrants tremble in their fear

And hear their death knell ringing,

When friends rejoice both far and near

How can I keep from singing?
 

In prison cell and dungeon vile

Our thoughts to them are winging,

When friends by shame are undefiled

How can I keep from singing?

Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: Eithne Ni Bhraonain / Nicky Ryan / Roma Ryan
How Can I Keep From Singing? lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Calls for Peace

Let us listen to the wisdom of women peacemakers worldwide.
 

            Hold or make a peace crane.

 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, taught peace through the law: “I…try to teach through my opinions, through my speeches, how wrong it is to judge people on the basis of what they look like, color of their skin, whether they’re men or women.”

MSNBC interview

And the Notorious RBG taught us how to fight: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

a luncheon at Harvard University)
 

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
 

            Hold or make a peace crane.
 

Sadako Sasaki of Japan, symbol of innocent victims of nuclear war, folded peace cranes while in the hospital: “I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.”

Report from Hiroshima, as given in the United States Committee for Cooperation with the Japan Council Against A and H Bombs, 1961, 48.

           

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
 

            Hold or make a peace crane.

 

Anne Frank of Germany and the Netherlands, Holocaust victim: “I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”

The Diary of Anne Frank, July 15, 1944 (New York: Doubleday, 1952).

           

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
 
            Hold or make a peace crane.
 

Wangari Maathai of Kenya, recipient of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize: “Unless we properly manage resources like forests, water, land, minerals and oil, we will not win the fight against poverty. And there will not be peace. Old conflicts will rage on and new resource wars will erupt unless we change the path we are on.”  

— “Trees for Democracy,” The New York Times, December 10, 2004.

           

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance
 

            Hold or make a peace crane.
 

Rigoberta Menchú of Guatemala, recipient of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize: “Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.”

—Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld with Jessica van Tijn, Science, Soul, and the Spirit of Nature (Rochester, VT: Bear & Company, 2005).

           

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

 
Praying for Peace on Earth

Imagine living in the mountains of Afghanistan.

You wear a veil and search for food to eat.

Five times a day you pray to Allah for peace on Earth.
 

Imagine living in the altiplano of South America.

You dream of immigrating to the United States

because your political activism has put you at risk.

Every day you pray to the Pacha Mama for peace on Earth.
 

Imagine living in a crowded city in China.

You shop at street stalls and ride your bike to work

hoping you and your family will be safe from Covid-19.

Every day you pray to the Buddha for peace on Earth.
 

Imagine living in the Hopi Nation.

You make beautiful pottery and live in the pueblo.

Every day you pray to the Great Spirit for peace on Earth.
 

Imagine living on the west coast of Africa.

You grow yams and walk five miles to school.

Every day you pray to Oshun for peace on Earth.
 

Imagine living on the other side of town or in another state.

You have different neighbors, a different job, a different lifestyle.

You wear a mask to keep everyone safe from Covid-19.

Every day you pray to your God for peace on Earth.

           

Chant: All we are saying is give peace a chance

All we are saying is give peace a chance
 

Reflect | Meditate | Journal

Think about the calls for peace that you have heard.

What kind of peacemakers do we need today? Where are they? How will we know them?

What does peace on Earth mean to you? How can you bring it about in your life and in the lives of others?

After a quiet time, I will invite us to hold a candle or peace crane and share as we wish.
 

Prayer for Peace

Merciful and peace-loving God of Many Names and Many Peoples, your compassion and grace sustain the universe. Teach us to hallow your names throughout the world and to make friends with people of all cultures. Then, together, we will bring peace on Earth.

Amen. Blessed be. May it be so.
 

Take Action

Our prayer challenges us to act for justice. Here are a few ways to take action for peace on earth.

  • Vote!
  • Write to friends in another country and wish them peace.
  • Think “Peace on Earth” the next time you are in the midst of a conflict with someone and let it make a difference in your reactions and the outcome.
  • Call your Congresspersons and tell them to support immigrants and refugees.

 

Blessing of Peace

Let us send one another forth with a blessing of peace.

May peace be within us. May peace be around us. May peace be beside us.

May peace be between us. May we walk peacefully with all Earth’s creatures.

May peace fill our days and nights. May peace fill the Earth.
 

Closing Song: “Let There Be Peace” by Sweet Honey in the Rock

 
 

Learn More from These Resources

Diamond, Louise. The Peace Book: 108 Simple Ways to Create a More Peaceful World. 

Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 2001.

McKenna, Megan. She Who Brings Peace. Erie, PA: Pax Christi, 2003.

Parr, Todd. The Peace Book. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017.

“The Peace Pilgrimage” Lugo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
 

© 2020 WATER: The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, dneu@hers.com