War and Peace – 2014

The beginning of the Great War in 1914 – ‘the war to end all wars’ – is being commemorated in many different ways throughout the year. The 70th anniversary of the ‘D Day’ landings in Normandy was also marked on 6 June. It is a good time for us to consider the topics of war and peace and to look at them through the lens of Christianity. What lessons have we learnt from the slaughter and destruction of many millions over the past one hundred years in over fifty different wars or conflicts? What resolutions can we make that will contribute to the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere of openness, tolerance and acceptance of all who inhabit this planet? What can we do to raise awareness of the personal responsibility of all followers of Jesus to be instruments of peace and justice today.

This prayer service is intended to inspire communities to work together for peace and to put an end to war. This work of peace is everybody’s concern.

‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’.

(As people gather they are offered a card representing one of the areas of conflict and war in the past one hundred years. Each card will have some information on that conflict and the effect it had on people. During the service each person is invited to pray for all those who have suffered as a result of war, conflict and terrorism and in particular those in the war zone represented on their card)

Gathering Song  The Peace of the Earth (Guatamalan Trad.)
All sing: The peace of the earth be with you,
The peace of the heavens too
The peace of the rivers be with you
The peace of the oceans too
Deep peace flowing over you
God’s peace growing in you.

Reading  James 4: 1-2
Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force.

All sing: The peace of the earth be with you,
The peace of the heavens too
The peace of the rivers be with you
The peace of the oceans too
Deep peace flowing over you
God’s peace growing in you.

Reading  Genesis 4: 9–10
The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian? ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground.’

All sing: The peace of the earth be with you,
The peace of the heavens too
The peace of the rivers be with you
The peace of the oceans too
Deep peace flowing over you
God’s peace growing in you.

Prayer  Let us pray,
All say: God of peace and harmony,
Fill us with your Spirit that we may
Control our temper
Moderate our desires
Develop inner calm
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflections  In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons. Herodotus

Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind. John F. Kennedy

Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death. Pope Francis

Song   Kyrie – War Requiem (Benjamin Britten)

Christmas Day 1914 – Diary of Father Francis Gleeson – Royal Munster Fusiliers

Such desolation.  Such suffering!  If all militarists had hearts at all they should bleed, if they saw the scene of frozen men I saw today – this Xmas day of 1914 AD.
Before beginning the Mass I spoke a word to the men who stood or knelt round in a circle round the outside of this emptied house – one of the thousands of homes desolated by this beastly war and told them I was offering the sacrifice for the Munsters who were killed on Tuesday last, for their wives, sisters, brothers & mothers.  Secondly, for the men of our own Regt. (up to 200) who were wounded on that dreadful night of carnage when we lost 11 officers & nearly 200 men whose souls were well prepared at Ballieul for death.  Cold and mudless rain that charge of the Munsters is historic and they deserve immortal credit for it.
How I felt on that death region today!  Good Saviour of the world – will you deem to bring peace and abolish all war forever!  If the non-soldier world ever saw these trenches and those foot-frozen soldiers today-lying paralysed in cold, desolated, ruined houses.

Song   Kyrie (W. A. Mozart)

Prayer   Let us pray,
All say: God of mercy and compassion,
Let your light shine on all those who have died as a result of war or terrorism in the past one hundred years.
Give them eternal peace
Console those who mourn them
Forgive those who hurt them.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Song Dona Eis Requiem (Owen Lynch)
All sing:  Dona eis requiem, Dona eis requiem,
Dona eis requiem

Reflections   No one heals himself by wounding another. Saint Ambrose of Milan

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Dwight D. Eisenhower

War is a defeat for humanity. Saint John Paul II

Song  Now The Guns Have Stopped (Karl Jenkins)
So silent, now,
Now the guns have stopped.
I have survived all,
I, who knew I would not.
But now you are not here.
I shall go home alone;
And must try to live life as before,
And hide my grief
For you, my dearest friend,
Who should be with me now,
Not cold, too soon,
And in your grave,

Alone. [Text Guy Wilson (b.1950)  (C)]

Reflection  Advent, 1916 – Eva Dobell
I dreamt last night Christ came to earth again
To bless His own. My soul from place to place
On her dream-quest sped, seeking for His face
Through temple and town and lovely land, in vain.
Then came I to a place where death and pain
Had made of God’s sweet world a waste forlorn,
With shattered trees and meadows gashed and torn,
Where the grim trenches scarred the shell-sheared plain.
And through that Golgotha of blood and clay,
Where watchers cursed the sick dawn, heavy-eyed,
There (in my dream) Christ passed upon His way,
Where His cross marks their nameless graves who died
Slain for the world’s salvation where all day
For others’ sake strong men are crucified.

Song Make Me a Channel of your Peace (Sebastian Temple)
All sing:  Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

O master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

Reflection Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves. William Hazlitt

Peace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty.
Aung San Suu Kyi

Opting for peace does not mean a passive acquiescence to evil or compromise of principle. It demands an active struggle against hatred, oppression and disunity, but not by using methods of violence. Building peace requires creative and courageous action. Pope St. John Paul II

Reading  Matthew 5: 43-46
You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.

Song    Give us your Peace (Michael Mahler)
All sing:   Jesus give us your peace, bring us together,
let all the fighting cease. Shatter all our hearts of stone
Give us a heart for love alone.

Reading     1 Peter 3:8-12
You should all agree among yourselves and be sympathetic; love the brothers, have compassion and be self-effacing. Never pay back one wrong with another, or an angry word with another one; instead, pay back with a blessing. That is what you are called to do, so that you inherit a blessing yourself. Remember: Anyone who wants to have a happy life and to enjoy prosperity must banish malice from his tongue, deceitful conversation from his lips; he must never yield to evil but practise good; he must seek peace and pursue it.

Song    Healing Light (Karl Jenkins)

Reflection Prince of Peace (Liam Lawton)
All say:  There is no tongue
That cannot speak of peace
There is no hand
That cannot harbour peace
There is no mind that cannot long for peace
For you, the Prince of Peace
Walked among us
Calling us from places of
Into the shelter of your forgiving Peace

May all who would lift
An arm against another
Be conformed by the
Compassion of Your eyes
That knows the pained desire
Of all life’s wounded
And your open hands
Offering the loving kindness
Of the heart of our God.

Song  How Beautiful Are The Feet (G.F. Handel)

Reading   John 14: 27
Peace I bequeath to you,
My own peace I give you,
A peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.

Reflections  He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger  Japanese Wisdom

Peace begins with a smile    Blessed Mother Teresa

While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.  Saint Francis of Assisi

Song  Christ In Me Arise (Trevor Thompson)
 All sing: Christ in me arise and dispel all the darkness
Christ in me arise with your power and your strength
Christ in me pour out our blessing and healing
Christ in me arise and I shall rise with you.

Prayer   Let us pray,
 All say:   God of love and tenderness,
Help us to be patient as we build pathways for peace
Give us the grace to love others unconditionally
Inspire us to see with our hearts.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflection  Peace Bringer – Joyce Rupp
Not all wars consist of armoured soldiers.
Many take place within feuding individuals
Where jealousy, anger, and hatred exist.
Peace Bringer, come to all hearts at war.
Move them to lay down their weapons,
To cast aside bitterness and resentment.
Bring your peace to hardhearted ones.
Lessen the grip of those who desire revenge.
May your peace release whatever binds
And free all those held captive by hostility.

Song  Let There Be Peace on Earth (Jackson/Miller)
All sing:  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth,
the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father we are family.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now:
With every step I take, may this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment with peace eternally;
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Wars/Conflicts 20th Century
Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901)
Boer War (1899-1902)
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)
First and Second Balkan Wars (1912-1913)
World War 1 (1914-1918)
Armenian Genocide (1915-1918)
Russian Revolution 1917
Irish War of Independence (1916-1921)
Russian Civil War (1918-1921)
Chinese Civil War (1927-1937)
Holocaust (1933-1945)
Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1935-1936)
Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)
World War II (1939-1945)
Cold War (1945-1990)
Chinese Civil War resumes (1946-1949)
First Indochina War (1946-1954)
Israel War of Independence (also known as the Arab-Israeli War) 1948
Israel-Syrian Conflict (1948 – Present)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Korean Conflict (1950 – Present)
French-Algerian War (1954-1962)
First Sudanese Civil War (1955-1972)
Suez Crisis 1956
Cuban Revolution 1959
Vietnam War (1959-1973)
Colombian Civil War (1964 – Present)
India’s Maoist Insurgency/Naxalite Guerrilla War (1967 – Present)
Six-Day War Middle East1967
Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989)
Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)
Sri Lankan Civil War  (1983-2009)
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)
Third Balkan War (1991-1995)
Rwandan Genocide (1994)
Burundi Civil War (1994 – Present)
Nepal Civil War (1996- Present)
Chechen War (1999 – Present)

Wars/Conflicts 21st Century
Afghanistan War (2001-Present)
Baluchistan War (2003-Present)
Bangladesh Army Mutiny (2009)
Central African Republic Army Mutiny (May 28, 2001-Present)
Chad Rebellion (2005-Present)
Cote de Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Civil War (2002-Present)
Darfur War (Feb. 2003-Present)
The Ethiopia-Somalia War—(2006- Present)
Gaza War 1 (2008-2009)
Gaza War 11 (2014)
Georgia-Russia War (2008)
Honduras Coup (2009)
India-Bangladesh Border Conflict (April 18-April 20, 2001)
Iraq War (Gulf War II) (2003-Present)
Israel-Palestinian War (2nd Intifada)(2001-2005)
Macedonian Albanian Uprising (2001)
Mount Elgon Insurgency (2005-2008)
Sa’dah al-Houthi Rebellion in Yemen (2004-Present)
Solomon Islands Unrest (2006)
Syrian Civil War (2011 – present)
Thailand Political Unrest (2006 –Present)
Thai Muslim Rebellion (2003 – Present)
Thai-Myanmar (Burma) Border Conflict (Feb 2001 and May 2001)
Ukrainian Conflict (2014)
Waziristan War (2003 – Present)