About this blogger:
Richard J. Clark is the Director of Music of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. His compositions have been performed worldwide.
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"Oh, what sighs I uttered, what tears I shed, to mingle with the waters of the torrent, while I chanted to Thee, O my God, the psalms of Holy Church in the Office of the Dead!"
— Isaac Jogues, upon finding Goupil's corpse (1642)

Praying for Peace in Syria - Day of Prayer and Fasting
published 5 September 2013 by Richard J. Clark

ODAY’S COVER OF THE New York Times shows a horrifically disturbing photograph of Syrian rebel fighters standing over captured and tied soldiers. The commander on the right, recited a verse just before the soldiers were executed. This photo is perhaps moments before their deaths.

Our souls cry out in anguish over the callous culture of death.

In response to Pope Francis’ call for a day of fasting and prayer for peace this Saturday, September 7th, the Office of Divine Worship in Boston writes the following directives, which we may all find of use in our parishes. Additionally, there are suggested petitions may be useful, even if for prayer in our own hearts:

Praying for Peace in Syria, in Solidarity with Pope Francis and Christians throughout the world. Archdiocesan (Boston) Prayer Vigil for Peace & Directives for the Day of Prayer and Fasting
Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace this coming Saturday, September 7, 2013. He has invited us all to ask from God “this great gift of peace for the beloved Syrian nation and for the situations of conflict and violence in the world.” He went on to say, “Humanity needs to see gestures of peace, and to hear words of hope and of peace.”
In addition, the Cardinal (O’Malley) is asking all priests who regularly celebrate a Saturday morning Mass in their parishes t…o use the Mass texts from the Roman Missal section II, “For Civil Needs” of “Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions”. In this section, the most appropriate texts will come from the Mass “In Time of War or Civil Disturbance”, # 31.
For the Saturday Vigil Mass and Sunday Masses the following petitions may be added to the Prayers of the Faithful with the closing prayer taken from the Mass In Time of War or Civil Disturbance.
· That the precious gift of peace might be promoted and protected in Syria, the Middle East and all throughout the world; We pray to the Lord:
· That aware of the judgment of God and of history upon our actions, all nations might come to understand that war begets war, violence begets violence; We pray to the Lord:
· That God might guide the international community to make every effort to promote clear proposals for peace for the good of the entire Syrian people; We pray to the Lord:
· That the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone tempted by violence so that they may lay down their weapons; We pray to the Lord:
· That through the example of Mary, Mother of Peace, we might dedicate ourselves each day to building an authentic culture of encounter and peace; We pray to the Lord:
· Prayer at Conclusion of Intercessions: “O God, author and lover of peace, to know you is to live, to serve you is to reign; defend against every attack those who cry to you, so that we, who trust in your protection, may not fear the weapons of any foe. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”

“Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children!” – Pope Francis