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Prayer: Mary's Song - a prayer of petition and intercession inspired by Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55);

A Litany by Christian Aid and PHNC.

God's promise: “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly.” (Luke 1:52)

Merciful God, may Mary’s song be heard now, drowning out the din of chaos.

May it be heard by the victims of violence in Ukraine. May it ring in the ears of the traumatised.

May it sing in the hearts of those stuck in the refugee camps of Poland, Romania and Moldova.. May it be a song of hope for all standing strong for what is right.

May it be the rally cry of peace for the war-weary of Kyiv. May it be a song that stirs reverent fear in the hearts of those who assume power. And may the joyful promises of justice and overturned power fill all our hearts to overflowing action. Amen.

Pope Francis today: He called for an end to the “harrowing war” in Ukraine, condemning in particular the “barbarism” of Russia’s reported attacks last week on civilians— including pregnant women and children— in the eastern city of Mariupol.

“With an aching heart I add my voice to that of the common people, who implore the end of the war,” the pope said today, March 13, addressing the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Rome following the Angelus.

"In the name of God, listen to the cry of those who suffer,

and put an end to the bombings and the attacks!

Let there be real and decisive focus on the negotiations,

and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe.

In the name of God, I ask you: stop this massacre!”

In a world you made for peace and flourishing,

we lament the use of armed force.

We mourn every casualty of this conflict,

every precious life extinguished by war.

We pray comfort for those who grieve and those who are fearful.

Hear our longing that leaders and nations

will honour the worth of all people

by having the courage to resolve conflict through dialogue.

May all our human failings be transformed

by your wonderful grace and goodness.

We ask this in the name of Christ,

the author of peace and sustainer of Creation. Amen.

From the Joint Public Issues Team of the United Reformed Church,

The Methodist Church and Baptist Union.

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