An Octave of Fasting, Almsgiving & Prayer; A Litury for Peace
God's Peace, Salaam, Shalom in Gaza & Southern Israel
An Octave of Fasting, Almsgiving & Prayer
January 18 through 25, 2009
The Episcopal-Muslim Relations Committee (EMRC) of The Episcopal Diocese of New York invites you to join them in an octave of fasting, almsgiving and prayer, from January 18 through January 25, 2009, in solidarity with the people of Gaza and southern Israel. Each day, the members of EMRC will observe a fast from one meal and contribute the money saved to one of three faith-based organizations, representing the three Abrahamic faiths, currently providing emergency humanitarian aid to innocents in the conflict. Then, each evening, as Christians, they will light a candle and offer an evening liturgy for peace.
The EMRC is choosing January 18-25 for the octave to coincide with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In a world of religious pluralism and conflict, the EMRC shall pray for unity not just within Christianity, but also among the Abrahamic faiths - that Christians, Muslims and Jews, despite differences in political perspectives, may unite in compassionate response to human need and in a desire for peace.
The three faith-based organizations are:
Episcopal Relief and Development (Christian)
Episcopal Relief & Development is sending emergency funds to Gaza through the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The diocese is finding emergency shelter for hundreds of Gazans who have been displaced by the conflict and is supporting the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza City. As the violence in Gaza continues, the need for food, fuel, medicine, and supplies is increasingly urgent. To learn more about Ahli Arab hospital, watch this brief documentary film.
Palestine Red Crescent Society (Muslim)
Since 1969, the Palestine Red Crescent Society has provided humanitarian, health, cultural, and social services to Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. A respected humanitarian agency, PRCS is currently offering emergency medical services in Gaza, tending hundreds who have been wounded, and providing ongoing news updates on the situation in Gaza.
Union for Reform Judaism (Jewish)
Representing the largest Jewish denomination in the United States today, the Union for Reform Judaism has established an Israel Emergency Fund to offer humanitarian aid to residents of Sderot and other Israeli towns under rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The fund supports a humanitarian aid project called Keren b'Kavod, whose efforts include support for local economies through purchases at local stores, distributions of food packages, and gifts of toys to children in bomb shelters. To learn more about Keren b'Kavod, read this URJ article.
The Liturgy for Peace
May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:2
Confession of Sin
Adapted from a Pax Christi prayer
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Officiant and People
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
By turning to false gods of security and nationalism,
we have not loved you with our whole heart.
By fanning flames of hatred,
and dividing your people into those we trust and those we do not,
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
By letting fear and selfishness harden our hearts,
we have failed to be ministers of peace and reconciliation.
We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us,
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways of peace,
by the reconciling power of your Holy Spirit,
and to the glory of your name. Amen.
May God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the grace of Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Show us your mercy, O God, *
and grant us your salvation.
I will listen to what you are saying, *
For you are speaking peace to your faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to you.
Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you, *
that your glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Praise to the holy and undivided Trinity, one God:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
May God's Peace be with you. Salaam Alaikum. Shalom.
And also with you. Alaikum Salaam. Shalom.
Let us pray.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.
V. Help us, O God our Savior;
R. Deliver us and forgive us our sins.
V. Look upon your creation;
R. Give to your people the blessing of peace.
V. Declare your glory among all lands;
R. And your wonders among all peoples.
V. Let not the oppressed be forgotten;
R. Nor the hope of those in need be taken away.
V. Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you;
R. And your favor to those who are true of heart.
A Collect for Aid Against Perils
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer of Saint John of the Cross
O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You. Let your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O King of Gentleness, King of Peace. Amen.
Contemplative silence may follow in solidarity with the people of Gaza and southern Israel, with prayers for those who are in danger, those who live in terror, those offering emergency services, those who work for peace, and those who have died.
A Prayer Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Let us love and serve God with peace.
Thanks be to God.
The members of EMRC are observing this octave in fulfillment of their baptismal promises to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. They hope you will join them in the octave, that they and you may be a light shining the darkness of war.
The Episcopal-Muslim Relations Committee works to foster better mutual understanding among Christians and Muslims and to deepen Christians' appreciation of both Islam as a religion and our Muslim neighbors as children of God. By relationship-building, education, advocacy, and prayer, we seek to live Christ's mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves and to further the cause of peace and reconciliation in our diocese and throughout the world.
Masud Ibn Syedullah TSSF, Chair
Patricia Ackerman, Chloe Breyer, Deborah M. Dresser, Suzanne Graham, Stephen Holton, Nigel Massey, K. Jeanne Person, Petero A.N. Sabune, Mark Welton
Advisors to EMRC: Sr. Ellen Francis, OSH, Lucinda Mosher