Prayers for Peace in Each Country
With the clash of cymbals and a landscape of swirling sounds enveloping the Prayer Field, the MC announced: “The prayer energy of each one of us has the power to connect the hearts of humanity, transcending national borders, surpassing differences in ethnicity, and crossing the boundary between the material and the spiritual. We would like to begin the peace prayers for each country, which sends our energy of peace and harmony resonating out to the universe.”
The music, composed for the SOPP by Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto, changed to a stirring, rhythmic orchestral score as flag bearers proceeded forth from the back of the Prayer Field, carrying the colorful flags of 193 nations and an Earth flag representing all other regions. They paused in the aisles, then gathered in front of the stage, letting the vivid array of world flags wave together in the breeze—a striking depiction of the world united as one.
The flag bearers then proceeded behind the stage, where they lined up for the ceremony of prayers for peace in each country and region on earth—a ceremony which goes back many decades and has been held all around the world in various forms. The ceremony began with the sound of a bell and the universal prayer May peace prevail on Earth. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, each country’s name was announced as its flag was presented at center stage, and participants prayed May peace be in (name of country) in the country’s official language(s). Lastly, the Earth flag was presented, and participants prayed, May peace be in all the other regions of the world. May peace prevail on Earth, after which the bell sounded once more.