Representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam said prayers from their respective religious communities at Sunday’s historic “Invocation for Peace” at the Vatican, praying for peace in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East.
The meeting gathered in one place Pope Francis, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I.
The June 8 meeting in the Vatican gardens featured prayers in Hebrew, Arabic and Italian.
Below are the official English texts of a prayer from each of the three faiths.
Jewish prayer from the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) service, read in Hebrew:
Your servant David said before you: “Who may discern errors? Cleanse me from hidden faults”. Cleanse us, O Lord our God from all our transgressions, purify us from our impurity and cast pure water on us and purify us, as is written by Your prophets: “I will cast clean water upon you, and you shall be cleansed from all your impurities and from all your contamination I will purify you.” And it is said: “Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all guilt; accept that which is good, and we will offer up the fruit of our lips.” You are merciful, accepting those who turn back to You, and with regard to repentance You promised from the beginning, and with regard to repentance, our eyes look hopefully to You. And out of Your love or us, O Lord our God, who loved Israel Your people in Your mercy, and in Your compassion with which, You had compassion on the children of Your covenant, You granted us forgiveness of sin and the pardon of transgression and the atonement of iniquity.
Christian prayer written by St. John Paul II, read in Italian:
Let us turn with trust to God our Father,
who is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger, great in love and fidelity,
and ask him to accept the repentance of his people
who humbly confess their sins,
and to grant them mercy.
Let us pray that contemplating Jesus,
our Lord and our Peace,
Christians will be able to repent
of the words and attitudes
caused by pride, by hatred,
by the desire to dominate others,
by enmity towards members of other religions
and towards the weakest groups in society,
such as immigrants and itinerants.
Let us pray for all those who have suffered offences
against their human dignity
and whose rights have been trampled.
Islamic prayer, read in Arabic:
Praise be to God, who created the heavens and the earth, made darkness and light, brought everything out of nothing, created us as the best part of creation, formed us in the best of forms, bestowing on us hearing, sight, intelligence, and heart. Blessed be God, best of creators.
Oh God, to you all praise, O Lord, to you all praise, O Creator of the heavens and the earth, O You who know the unknown and the manifest, O Lord of everything and its sovereign, we testify that there is no god but You alone and You have no partner, we seek refuge in You from the evil in ourselves and the evil of Satan, his partners, his godlessness and his whispering, and we seek refuge in You from godlessness and want, and we seek refuge in You so that we do not bring evil upon ourselves or bring it upon anyone else.
O God, to You all praise, much praise, good and blessed, we praise You for all the grace bestowed upon us, seen and unseen, in religion or in the world, for Your graces cannot be counted or calculated, and we ask You, our Lord, that they last forever, be preserved and blessed, and that they might help us to remember You, thank You and worship You better, until we worship You, remember You and thank You as You desire, and to You all praise, O Lord, as befits the splendor of Your face and the greatness of Your power.
O God, You are all able and we are unable, You possess all and we have nothing, You know all and we know nothing, You know hidden things, we praise You, we thank You for all that You have showered upon us and all You have done so well for us in religion and in this world, to You praise, our Lord, in first things and in the hereafter, to You praise in good times and bad, to You praise until You are gratified and to You praise when You are satisfied, to You praise after satisfaction, there is no power and no strength but in You.