Sisters of Mercy Co-Lead Emergency Faith Delegation to Honduras, January 24-30
The following prayer service can be used for groups, and then individuals can select one section to repeat each day for morning and evening reflection.
Set a prayerful environment, with reflective music and a candle.
The leader lights a candle, saying...
May the peace of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, be with us all as we pray in solidarity with the people of Honduras and the delegation of women religious, and other ecumenical leaders, this week taking part an emergency delegation there to offer support and serve as witness to the wider world
Opening Prayer (all)
Rain down your love upon us, O God of Mercy.
Fill us with a spirit of justice and peace.
Guide us in merciful ways
And strengthen our hearts and minds to know You.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1, 6-10
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. Jesus began to teach them, saying:
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador
One who is committed to the poor must risk the same fate as the poor. And in El Salvador, we know what the fate of the poor signifies: to disappear, to be tortured, to be captive and found dead.
I will not tire of declaring that if we really want an effective end to violence we must remove the violence that lies at the root of all violence: structural violence, social injustice, exclusion of citizens from the management of the country, repression. All this is what constitutes the primal cause, from which the rest flows naturally.
invite each member of the group to share his/her thoughts on the scripture reading or reflections from Archbishop Romero in light of the situation in Honduras
Merciful God, listen to our prayers.
For a world of peace,
That people might be free from fear, free to live, and love, and prosper, we pray:
For world governments,
That they will support structures of justice and equality for all people, we pray:
For the members of our Mercy family and other faith leaders who will travel to be with the people of Honduras and offer support and strength on our behalf, we pray:
For our Sisters of Mercy and our lay associates in Honduras, and the communities in which they work and live, we pray:
For those martyred in Honduras, including Berta Caceres and over 100 other land activists, as well as the 30+ killed by state-sponsored violence against protestors since the flawed election on November 26, we pray:
For the courageous people of Honduras speaking out against irregularities in elections and impunity, we pray:
For what else shall we pray?
Let us wrap these petitions in the words Jesus gave us,
Concluding Prayer (all)
God of Mercy You who are Peace and Justice itself,
Strengthen our efforts to be witnesses of truth and justice in our world.
May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Concluding Hymn Suggestions
'Let There Be Peace on Earth'
'God of Day and God of Darkness'
'We Are Called'
'The Harvest of Justice'
'Voices That Challenge'
Or another song that fits the gathering
--Written by Sister Sheila C. Browne, RSM