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Mar 16, 2010

Prayers for Peace/Peace Vigils

Ideas for Prayers for Peace/Peace Vigils from Lutheran Peace Fellowship

Individuals and congregations are encouraged to show their support for peace this advent/spring. That support for peace can take form in many ways, from a simple prayer during church services to events requiring more planning.

Here are some ideas:

  • Asking the pastor if he/she would be interested in building on the peace theme of the service on the Sunday after Easter (which has an exceptional peace text in the lectionary) and offering some of the ideas below or on the LPF web site.
  • A group of members holding candles in silence in the narthex after a Lenten service, with an announcement in or before the service inviting folks to join. Preparation can be as simple as talking to your pastor to get the OK, and calling a few peace people to invite them to be participants.
  • A public vigil on the street after the service. This would take the above, plus making a sign saying what it is, calling a few more people, perhaps people in or announcements in neighboring congregations.

Both could benefit from picking a simple prayer to end, having a simple handout for participants and folks who show interest (e.g. with a few sentences on the purpose, ending with a few links to religious resources such as prayers, and perhaps a few sources of more info on Iraq/Afghanistan  - see LPF website).

Here is a prayer from Charlotte Gaddis, Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA:

  • We witness daily the chaos and violence that our brothers and sisters are experiencing for over seven years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Families are being torn apart and children see death and suffering all around them. We come together to pray for peace in what ever form [and faith] that might take.

Thanks to our friends at for the idea.

Anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador. Romero was assassinated while saying mass on March 24, 1980 in a small chapel in a cancer hospital where he lived. I had the honor of visiting this site on an LPF Study Trip to Central America back in 1998. In my account of the trip, I wrote "The assassinations of Archbishop Romero and the Jesuit priests were powerful historical facts to me before this trip, but the experience of visiting the sites of these atrocities was overwhelming. The photographs of the carnage and the victims' blood-stained clothes on display impressed upon me the great sacrifices made here in the struggle for justice and peace." - Alan Forsberg

In the videos and links below, learn more about this remarkable man and how he became the voice of the Salvadoran people when all other channels of expression had been crushed by the repression.

Oscar Romero of El Salvador: informal adult education in a context of violence

Celebrating Monsignor Romero

Oscar Romero - Resources

Archbishop Oscar Romero : Quotes

Remembering the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Archbishop Oscar Romero - The Last Sermon (1980)

Prophets Of A Future Not Our Own - Prayer

Romero - 1989 film about Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero (youtube part 1 of 11)

More short Youtube videos: