LEARNING FOCUS 5: Prayer for peace and unity and Sign of Peace.
After the Our Father, and before the Christian family receive Jesus in communion, everyone prays for peace and unity:
Priest: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
Graciously grant peace in our days,
That by the help of your mercy,
We may be free from sin
And safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
All: For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.
Priest: Lord Jesus Christ,
Who said to your Apostles:
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,
Look not on our sins,
But on the faith of your Church,
And graciously grant her peace
and unity in accordance with your will.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
The first part of the prayer is asking that God’s peace might help us to be free from anything which may cause worry or distress. The second paragraph reminds us that Jesus gave us peace and asks Jesus not to consider our sins but the goodness and faith of everyone, the Church.
Then the priest says, “Peace be with you,” and invites everyone to share the sign of peace. The people then greet one another as friends of Jesus. They say to one another, “Peace be with you”, “The peace of Christ” or just “Peace” as they make a gesture of friendship e.g. shaking hands. They are sharing with one another the gift of peace and unity which Jesus gave to his followers. They are using the words with which Jesus greeted his friends after the Resurrection, ‘Peace be with you’.
SOME KEY QUESTIONS
Compose a prayer for peace and unity making links to what you have learned so far