Four locations: Madrid, Mallorca, Orio , Urrez
Madrid: report by María José Camarero Orive
We met again in Madrid this year to join from the heart and with a deep sense of unity with all the groups celebrating the Symphony of Peace Prayers across the planet. Ours was a simple and emotive celebration where we shared the diverse personal experiences we had at the SOPP in Rome. Through each of these experiences, our feeling of unity and family was reinforced.
We offered various prayers and songs for each of the continents, knowing that even if we have differences in our spiritual practices, we are one voice. We felt that during our gathering, the great human chain that we are all part of transformed into a single link that connected us with the universe.
Mallorca: report by Marta Nogareda Moreno
This year, about a hundred people participated in our SOPP ceremony, with an open heart, a clean spirit and clear determination, realising little by little a truly unified group of human beings, their common wish for peace lying behind all forms of prayers and different spiritual paths. Some beautiful voices and a guitar helped us to reach our objective of feeling happy, loving, and in oneness.
Many participants agreed that the first part of the ceremony—praying the prayers of different faiths and traditions—was a wonderful way to prepare the field for the second part—the creation of a unified world through the deployment of national flags in a beautiful and colourful mandala. The first part prepares the heart, and the mandala of flags is the definitive declaration of peace for all nations and for the whole world as one. In this way, it becomes a reality in our hearts, in our cells, and in our minds.
I was especially pleased this year because many people expressed their true joy in having had the opportunity to participate in this meaningful ceremony. One passionate woman told me that this ceremony should be done once a month! A Christian Sister was very enthusiastic about the event, especially because she was able to send all her love to Venezuela, where she has been working for many years. She recently sent me an email conveying the importance of the SOPP because it brings everybody together.
Another friend wrote this comment: “The Universe enabled us to celebrate this beautiful event on the island of Mallorca, sharing with our brothers and sisters the love and the most sincere wish of world peace, a universal wish, with a wide variety of events. May peace be born every second and may this peace lay in our hearts, and this way we will be able to expand it more and more! I am very grateful to have lived this day of light…Please, don’t ever stop this chain of light; let’s make it bigger, until all hearts, and all the material world vibrate within the light, the love, the peace, and the unity for ever and ever.”
My heart feels elevated because year after year, we have the confirmation that we speak the words of the heart, the words of the universe, the words of God.
Orio: report by Lola Sousa
We held an SOPP Ceremony at the beautiful little church of San Martín, in the ‘Camino de Santiago’ in Orio (Basque Country). Forty beautiful and dedicated souls gathered, and we offered prayers for peace with different spiritual voices and held a flag ceremony for peace in each country. We had songs and poems to introduce each continent, and at the end, in front of the mandala of flags, we did a beautiful Basque dance called “Aurresku,” a dance of honor which is performed in very special moments, to show that we revere all nations and people with a deep sense of peace. It was also a way to honor our ancestors, who were there with us, for what they have bequeathed to us. Some of us stayed to have lunch together and enjoy the beautiful sunny afternoon.
Urrez: report by Asun Serna
This year, our plan was to once again go to the field surrounding the hermitage of Virgen de Cabrera, as we did in previous years, but it was raining up until shortly before we started. We decided to hold the ceremony in one of the schools, but we were reluctant not to enjoy a sky that was gradually clearing. So, we started walking uphill with colored flags representing the continents, in silence, improvising and flowing at the same time. Everyone collaborated with the readings. A beautiful poem by Masami Saionji, “Message to the Blue Earth,” was read before the prayers for each continent. There were also many readings referring to the silence and peace of the heart.
One participant commented: “On a day like today I felt the presence and energy of all the people who work for peace in the world at the same time…As we were changing the place of the ceremony to different parts of the mountain, we were completely immersed in the grass and flowers. We were accompanied by birds, clouds and sky.”