A Christmas Hello and Advent service and prayer for refugees
[Image via Netlex France]
CAFOD online published a service designed for use during Advent with ecumenical congregations that could also be used with members of just one church. The theme of the service is refugees. During the service, Jesus' experience as a refugee is linked with the experience of today's refugees. Here is a special prayer:
We pray for the 19 million refugees and 25 million displaced people in the world today. We pray that they may find safety, shelter, food and water.
We pray that the reasons why people are forced to leave their homes may be recognised and tackled. We pray that there may be peace, not war. We pray that all people may see that they are equal, that nobody has the right to persecute others because of their race, their gender, their culture or way of life.
We pray for those people who are forced to leave their homes because of hunger, or drought, or because their land has been taken from them. We pray for those who are effectively refugees in their own land, attacked by their own government.
We pray for ourselves, that we may not be too afraid to be welcoming. We pray that we have the courage to get involved.
We pray for all asylum seekers, particularly those who are kept in detention centres and prisons in this country while their claim is processed.
We pray for those people who have to make decisions about claims for asylum. May they be fair and unprejudiced. Give them compassion and real wisdom. We pray too for those who make the laws and draw up the guidelines about asylum. May they abide by the spirit of international law and be guided by the spirit of truth and justice.