Brecon Cathedral, Wales Monday 16th September 2019
On Monday 16th September, 2019, Peace Mala organised an uplifting and beautiful Interfaith service in Brecon Cathedral. The Cathedral was packed full of people of all ages, who had come together the celebrate global citizenship and world peace, in advance of the United Nations International Day of Peace.
About Peace Mala
Peace Mala is a Swansea-based multi award winning educational project for global citizenship and was begun in 2001 in response to terrorist attacks across the world.
Pam Evans MBE is the founder of Peace Mala and she writes:
“We are living in such troubling times of fear, violence, rising Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, religious intolerance, political unrest and racist bullying. Our gathering today is to bring some balance, hope and light on the current world climate.
Peace Mala focuses on the Golden Rule: ‘Treat others as you would wish them to treat you’. Its intention is to educate and remind everyone that this rule is recognised by many scholars, teachers and philosophers.
Inter-faith dialogue for peace is vital, as is the education of our children. By embracing the universal truths that all religions and spiritual paths share, we can help build bridges of peace and dissolve the boundaries that normally divide people.
We meet today as old and new friends linked in peace. We endeavour to put a spotlight on the wonderful work being achieved by the children and young people in our Peace Mala schools here in Wales and in other parts of the UK, and to send out a powerful message of love, friendship, respect and peace to all people in our world.
We thank the Dean of Brecon and his staff and Archbishop John, for their wonderful support and encouragement and for allowing us to be here today.
Let there be peace throughout the universe. Let that peace begin within each one of us.”
The programme began with a spectacular procession into the Cathedral by the Christian clergy, followed by representatives of many religious faiths and movements. Founder Pam Evans MBE welcomed us to the proceedings, then pupils from two of the Project’s schools explained the meaning of the rainbow coloured beads on the Peace Mala bracelet which symbolise the major world faiths.
Pam read the Prayer for World Peace, the central white candle was lit by the Dean of Brecon, and the symbolic Doves of Peace were blessed and re-consecrated. After this, representatives of the different faiths together with some of the pupils ceremonially lit the Candles for Peace.
This was followed by some fine Celtic music, and an inspirational singing of the Peace Mala Anthem ‘One Light’, sung by Steve Balsamo and accompanied by pupils from three schools. Bishop Tom then read the gentle Peace Prayer of St Francis of Assisi.
A highlight of the afternoon was the Native American hoop dance by Malcolm ‘Rising Eagle’ – a breathtaking performance, “uniting all nations”. He writes: “Tribal and native people believe that all of creation is sacred and that all people share one heart though they are many.”
Chief Seattle gives us the peace message: “Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
Smaller votive candles were lit by pupils, teachers and representatives, while a lovely song ‘This Is Me’ was performed by other pupils. Archbishop John gave the final blessing, and the Christian clergy and members of other faiths processed out of the Cathedral.
This was a beautiful service, to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace (on 21st September), and a day to remember, sending uplifting thoughts for Peace out into the world.
The Peace Mala story is one of continuing growth as it reaches out to all people in our global village.
Peace Mala’s message is simple: Treat the next person as you wish to be treated yourself.
For more information on Peace Mala check out the website, where a video of highlights of the celebration can also be found: http://peacemala.org.uk/news/blog/2019/09/23/peace-mala-international-interfaith-liturgy-for-world-peace-monday-16th-september-2019/