A Vigil of Prayer for Syria in Birmingham

7th October 2015 - by Nathalie Marytsch

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On Tuesday 6th October 2015 Columban Lay Missionaries Rose Basada and Mauricio Silva, together with Columban intern Julia Corcoran, attended a Vigil of Prayer for Syria held at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham.

The vigil was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Longley. Those gathered were invited to reflect on Genesis 18 which speaks of Abraham’s hospitality to strangers, an important characteristic of the peoples of the Middle East, even today. The gospel according to Matthew 25:31 -46 was also proclaimed and prayers were said for the people of Syria as well as for all the victims of conflict and violence.

A member of the Council of Faiths read a prayer in Arabic, especially written for the Vigil. The English translation of this prayer follows.

Lord God,

It’s so sad to witness beautiful countries, such as Syria and Iraq, tearing themselves apart.

It’s so tragic to see their leaders and the leaders of Arab and Western nations unwilling to agree on a peaceful solution.

It’s so shocking that ISIS members keep carrying out their acts of barbarity,

and no one is able to bring the slaughter to an end.

Millions of people have fled their homes, living as refugees in foreign lands, not knowing what the future may hold for them and their children.

Lord God,

No one is a stranger in your eyes,

and no one is ever far from your loving care.

In your Divine Mercy, watch over refugees and victims of war.

those separated from their loved ones, young people who are lost,

and those who have left everything behind.

Dear Lord,

help us always to show kindness to strangers and all those in need.

May all of us- no matter who we are or where we are from-

live together as brothers and sisters,

for we are members of the one human family.

(by J.Seferta)