Praying Together

Of all the gatherings,

prayers spoken,

during Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the United States,

the 9//1 Interfaith Service


as the most memorable.

Pope Francis

asked God to

“look on us,

people of all faiths and religious traditions,

who gather today

on this hallowed ground,

the scene of unspeakable

violence and pain.”

During the

interfaith service,

Iman Khalid Latif

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

alternated words of peace.

More pairs followed

two Hindu women,

two Buddhists,

two Muslims,

a Sikh father and daughter

and a Protestant

and Orthodox Christian.

The Pope sat in the middle.

and followed in the program.

“God judges us according

to our deeds,

not the coat we wear”

were the words

in Punjabi and English

by daughter and father Sikhs.

Cantor Azi Schwartz chanted in Hebrew

a prayer to honor

the 9/11 dead.

The Eight Beatitudes

were read in the the

ancient Greek

and then in English.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,for theirs is

the kingdom of heaven.

The service was

finished with the Pope

offering a gesture of peace-

a handshake,

an embrace

or a bow.

The Young People’s Chorus of New York City

more than 60 teenage

boys and girls

wearing different colored scarves-


“Let There Be Peace on Earth”.

Glancing around the room,

several members of the

interfaith audience

suggested the faith leaders

stay in the room.

“Lock the doors”, said one, “until the


figures out how

to achieve world peace.”

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