Friday, August 22, 2014

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Holy Land Held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Utah/Clare Julian Carbone, ARCWP Deacon

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Friday, August 15
On Friday, August 15 an interfaith group gathered in the beautiful St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for an Interfaith Prayer Vigil. The program began with a “Welcome to all” by the Rev. Terri Heydek, and an opening song “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” led by Karen Anson-Neilson. A main purpose of the vigil was to acknowledge the particular beauty, wisdom and truth expressed in the three Abrahamic traditions, and the common foundations that unite us. Two other purposes of the vigil were to create a space in which all of us could pray together and take back our projections so that we could be conduits of the peace we desired. The vigil included invocations to prayer and readings from the three traditions, as well as two harp mediations and music from the Jewish tradition led by Alan and Andalin Bachman of Desert Wind music.

The Christian invocation began with the ringing of the Angelus Bells. The Jewish faith was acknowledged by the lighting of 3 Shabbat candles. The three candles were lit by a representative of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions: Andalin Bachman, Jewish, lit the first candle, followed by Clare Julian Carbone, representing Christianity and then Zeynep Kariparduc lit a candle on behalf of Muslims. A fourth candle was jointly lit as a representation of the desired unity by all. The Muslim invocation was a “Call to Prayer” by Coskun Kariparduc from the Pacifica Institute, Utah.

Heidi Hart, a Quaker, then played, “Finlandia by Sibelius,” also known by the titles “Song of Peace” and “Be still my Soul.” Having stilled our souls as we meditated to the beautiful harp music, we began a period of silent prayer for peace. The audience was then invited to come and light a taper candle and place it in a sand bowl, representing our individual presence and our united prayer for peace and healing around the world. After the final candle was lit we joined in a unison prayer “Adoni, Allah, Lord, make us instruments of your peace” which was adapted from a prayer from St. Francis.
Deacon Clare Julian Carbone, ARCWP

A closing blessing acknowledging all three traditions was given by Rev. Trace Browning. A closing song in Hebrew inviting the blessing of Shekhinah was then offered.  The audience was then invited for delicious light refreshments and fellowship in the Parish hall. We received many positive responses as people reflected on the event. Some said that they felt “empowered”, which seemed to affirm that the vigil gave people a way to transcend what seemed like impossible barriers and obstacles. 
Clare Julian Carbone, ARCWP,

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