This is an outline for a celebration for personal and world peace, including elements of meditation, prayer, reflection and music, that is especially appropriate for bringing in the New Year or other holidays.
The place and participants:
- A gathering room; in a park; at the beach.
- Participants (not necessarily clergy) representing various faiths.
- A group of friends, or a even a large family could be the main participants.
A central symbol of focus could be a candle that is placed at the center of a table at the front, lit before the ceremony. People come into the gathering place, pick up a copy of the program, and sit. A moderator presides at the side front to let everyone know who and what is coming next.
Some elements that could be included:
- The representatives of each faith enter from the back in a procession while uplifting music is played or sung, each holding an unlit candle, and one at a time approach the central lit candle. Then, each light their own candle, placing it in a holder next to the main candle.
- Each representative remains standing in front of their candle facing the gathering. In turn, each offers a brief prayer or guided meditation from their tradition that is universal in nature; then they sit down.
- The moderator announces a minute of silence for personal meditation and reflection.
- Offerings of inspiring song or dance from each faith, or in honor of each faith, could be presented at the front.
- Each representative in turn comes forward, facing the gathering, and offers a short homily (time allotment preset) along universal lines, then returns to their seat.
- The assembled gathering, led by the moderator, recite a universal prayer for peace. "St. Francis' Prayer for Peace" is one idea.
- An uplifting song is sung by all as the representatives and then everyone present leave in a recessional. "Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me …" written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson is one idea for the concluding song.
I invite you to join me in a daily world peace group cyber meditation. Click the article here to read about it.
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Article by Susan Helene Kramer