Prayers for Peace in Each Country
As the prayer leaders left the stage to resounding applause, the names of guests who had previously participated as prayer leaders were read aloud on stage. The ongoing participation and support of past prayer leaders and guests is greatly appreciated for the continuity of this annual event. Each guest stood from their seat briefly to greet the participants.
Flag bearers carrying the national flags of the world entered the Prayer Field. Accompanied by an original orchestral score composed by Mr. Kenichi Yamamoto, they held the flags with reverence as they paraded through the field, the colorful flags waving beautifully in the breeze. The last flag carried through was the Earth flag, representing all other regions of the world, as well as the oneness of all humankind.
The flag bearers reassembled behind the stage to prepare for the SOPP’s second core program, Prayers for Peace in Each Country in Each National Language. In this ceremony, which originated over three decades ago and has taken place throughout the world in numerous variations, participants pray for peace in each country in the world as its flag is presented. The ceremony can be performed in any kind of place, by one person or by thousands, to connect on a spiritual level with the people in each country and region on earth and send out prayers for their peace and happiness.
At the Symphony of Peace Prayers, the ceremony began with the sound of a bell and the prayer May peace prevail on Earth. Then, as the flags of 193 nations were presented on stage in English alphabetical order, participants prayed May peace be in (name of country) in the country’s own national language(s). Lastly, the Earth flag was presented on stage, and participants prayed May peace be in all the other regions of the world, May peace prevail on Earth. The sound of the bell closed the ceremony.
Gratitude for All Life on Earth
Immediately following these prayers for peace, participants were invited to express their gratitude for all life on Earth. The MC introduced the prayers as follows:
Imagine people, animals, plants, and all living things living radiant lives in harmony on this planet Earth. We are all one, and we are enabled to live through the blessings of nature. Let us offer our gratitude to all life on earth, feeling our deep connection.
Repeating after the MCs in Japanese and then in English, participants prayed:
Thank you, dear oceans.
Thank you, dear mountains.
Thank you, dear earth.
Thank you, dear animals.
Thank you, dear plants.
Thank you, dear minerals.
Thank you, dear water.
Thank you, dear air.
Thank you, dear sun.
Thank you, dear planet Earth.
May Peace Prevail on Earth.