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Praying for the Holy Land at Christmas

Posted on: December 18, 2015 11:19 AM
The Litany for Peace in the Holy Land developed from the daily prayers at St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: Deror Evi / Wikimedia
Related Categories: Abp Dawani, Jerusalem, Middle East, Peace

[ACNS] Anglicans and other Christians are being asked to pray for the peace of Jerusalem on Christmas Eve, using a special litany which has emerged from the Diocese of Jerusalem’s daily prayers at St George’s Cathedral.

Archbishop Suheil Dawani published the Litany in November and asked churches around the world to incorporate it in their services on Advent Sunday and Christmas Eve.

“The message of the Prince of Peace is dear to us, and so important for us to meditate and reflect on throughout our earthly pilgrimage,” Archbishop Dawani said in his Christmas message, released just ahead of Advent. “In this Diocese, I have called all to reflect on their ministries, recognizing that situations are not easy: In Syria people face extraordinary difficulties. We have had to close our church – I hope temporarily – in Damascus.

“In Jordan the church’s understanding of hospitality – as throughout Europe and the world – is challenged in welcoming the refugee: to welcome the stranger is to welcome Christ in our midst (Matt. 25:35).

“In Lebanon we are challenged again to respond with compassion in the wake of horrific violence in November.

“And in Palestine and Israel, we are called daily to seek and pray for peace between Palestinian and Israeli.”

He continued: “The Prince of Peace teaches us to serve and shows us that through the Holy Spirit we must not give up hope when things seem hopeless; that in the face of violence we must not be tempted to hate, but that we must have compassion.

“The Prince of Peace shows us what healing is, between neighbours and between communities. I pray daily for those who grieve, that the Holy Spirit, the comforter (John 14.26), may grant them solace and healing in their hearts.”

He explained that the Litany for Peace in the Holy Land was developed as part of the diocese’s discipline of prayer as the troubles in Jerusalem escalated. “I believe [it] can be used in this diocese and adapted for other places where there is conflict, pain and suffering,” he said.

Litany for Peace in the Holy Land

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
Grant us your peace.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the birth in Bethlehem of the Word made flesh, your Son, Jesus Christ; who dwelt among us full of grace and truth.

For your love and your goodness
We give you thanks, O God

We thank you for his life; his death here in Jerusalem as he carried our sins and suffering, and for his glorious Resurrection in which he gave us new life with him.

For your love and your goodness
We give you thanks, O God

We thank you for entrusting to us the ministry of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace-making for the healing of your creation.

For your love and your goodness
We give you thanks, O God

We pray for all victims of bloodshed, violence, and persecution. We especially pray for all in danger and those fleeing persecution in the Holy Land, and throughout the Middle East.

Lord, hear our prayer
And let our cry come unto you

We pray for all who grieve for those they have loved and lost as a result of violence, particularly those grieving in Palestine and Israel.

Lord, hear our prayer
And let our cry come unto you

We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide all leaders, especially on those who lead the peoples in the Land of the Holy One, the United Nations and upon all in authority, so Your people may seek ways of peace and justice.

Lord, hear our prayer
And let our cry come unto you

Heavenly Father, we praise and glorify you. You are our only refuge in a troubled world.

Lord, hear our prayer
And let our cry come unto you

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Lord God Almighty,
you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace:
Give to us and the people of all the nations a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance,
that all of your people may use their liberty in accordance with your gracious will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.