Special Days

Season of Advent and Season of Lent


Advent 1: Peace in our World

On this first Sunday of Advent, we pray for peace in our world.
Headlines from the news this week:
(add appropriate headlines)

Peacemaking God, we turn to you in prayer.
The world around us trumpets violence and destruction.
Nations know war all too well.
Your invitation to carry an olive branch seems ludicrous
as the call to arms is sounded.
Help us to seek your reconciliation.
(Light one purple/blue candle)

Advent 2: Peace with the Earth

On this second Sunday of Advent,
we pray for peace with the earth.
Headlines from the news this week:
(add appropriate headlines)

Peacemaking God, we turn to you in prayer.
The earth groans under the weight of its human inhabitants.
Our trail is too often measured by its destruction.
The love you share for all of your creation atrophies in our hands.
Help us to seek your harmony.
(Light two purple/blue candles)

Advent 3: Peace in our Relationships

On this third Sunday of Advent,
we pray for peace in our relationships.
Headlines from the news this week:
(add appropriate headlines)

Peacemaking God, we turn to you in prayer.
As families and friends gather for the holiday season,
our collective stress level often reaches a tragic peak.
Domestic violence and substance abuse are on the rise again this season.
The very people we claim to love
can at the same time be the source of our pain.
Help us to seek your serenity.
(Light three purple/blue candles)

Advent 4: Peace within Ourselves

On this fourth Sunday of Advent,
we pray for peace within ourselves.
Headlines from the news this week:
(add appropriate headlines)

Peacemaking God, we turn to you in prayer.
Caught in the frenetic holiday rush,
a still small voice beckons from within.
Our frantic pace belies the aimlessness that holds us hostage.
Created for relationship, our isolation eats at the fabric of our being.
Help us to seek your tranquility.
(Light four purple/blue candles)

~ written by Katherine Hawker, 2001
Posted on Liturgy Outside

Days of Remembrance and Days of Peace


Prayer for Hiroshima Day

Like most traumatic scars,
the ones that are found in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are permanent:
reminders of the terrible damage human beings can inflict.
Similar scars can be found in the hearts and souls of people around the world
who understand this terror: scars of grief, sadness, fear and even shame.
None of these scars promise an end to war and devastation.
Instead, they serve as a reminder of healing and renewal—of a return to life.

Gracious God, Spirit of Life and Love, help us to see our scars:
those we have created, those we are called to witness,
and those we can soothe and heal.
We are deeply grateful for the buds and blossoms
that even the most scarred offer as a revelation to the world.
And, especially on this 63rd anniversary of Hiroshima Day,
we renew our commitment to peace individually, collectively and globally:
To “peace within” which calms our anxieties and fears,
To “peace between” which overcomes differences, animosities and conflict,
And, to “the great peace”, beyond even our understanding,
that is Your gift and which we attempt to be stewards of for the world.
Amen.

~ written by William G. Sinkford
Posted on the United Universalist Association of Congregations website