Prayers for Peace in Each Country
The program then proceeded to its second major component, the prayer ceremony for peace in each world nation. “The prayer energy of each one of us,” the MC remarked “has the power to connect the hearts of humanity into one, transcending national borders and differences in culture and ethnicity, and crossing the boundary between the material and the spiritual.”
A solemn and commanding musical score filled the Prayer Field as the national flag bearers ceremoniously proceeded toward the stage, led by the Earth Flag. As the flag bearers lined up in front of the stage, the colorful flags of the world waved together in a powerful and beautiful image of world peace and harmony.
The ceremony began with the sound of a bell and the universal prayer May peace prevail on Earth. The name of each country was announced, and its flag presented on stage, while participants spoke the words May peace be in (name of country) in the country’s official language(s). This year, the nations were grouped by region of the world, beginning with Asia, and followed by Oceania, North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. Participants offered prayers for peace in all 192 United Nations member states, and then offered a prayer for “all the other regions of the world, including Palestine” (the Earth Flag was carried by Nicolas Atallah, a youth leader from Palestine).