Jerusalem, my home is within you (Ps 87, 7)




  • This celebration may be adapted to the needs of groups who will use it. Thus a group may choose different music, write their own prayers, etc.
  • The hymns are optional. Each community can use them or choose others from their own repertoire. Most songs suggested are drawn from the Catholic Book of Worship (CBW) and Oregon Catholic Press (OCP, Breaking Bread).
  • Although designed to be experienced during Lent, this celebration can be adapted for other liturgical seasons.
  • This celebration can be experienced with or without a priest. It also can be adapted to be used within a Eucharistic celebration.
  • It is up to you to consider aesthetic aspects. You can install a visual prop in front of the church, a candle, a picture, etc.
  • The authors of this celebration are Gilles Bourdeau, Sylvain Campeau and Sébastien Doane.


Opening hymn

  • City of God (OCP 373)
  • Jerusalem, My Happy Home (OCP 593)


After a word of welcome, the celebrant can read the following paragraph to explain the theme of the celebration.

Jerusalem is our true home. We gather today to pray for peace. It is Jerusalem that will be our inspiration, even if this great city has seen many wars and is still the center of the conflict in the Middle East. Its name can be translated from Hebrew as "city of peace." Psalm 87 claims that Jerusalem is our home. Even if we’ve never been there, spiritually we are citizens of Jerusalem, a home we share with Christians around the world whether they are Orthodox, Protestant, Coptic, Armenian, etc. Jerusalem is also a holy city for Jews and Muslims. Hopefully this time together will allow us to develop an awareness that the diversity around us can lead to peace.

Gesture of peace

In Hebrew (shalom) and Arabic (salaam), the word peace also indicates a greeting. Let’s begin our celebration by greeting our neighbours and sharing names so as not to pray as if we were strangers. Then, once we know the names of those around us, offer a gesture of peace like a handshake or a hug while we wish them peace.

Let us pray

May the peace of God be in our hearts so we can become one body. Let us give thanks in all our words and actions to God our Father. This we pray through Christ our Lord.



"Our true home" that was made for this purpose.











Isaiah 2, 1-4 (NRSV)
The word that Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

The word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.

Psalm 87
His foundation upon the holy mountains the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!

R. God is with us.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon among those that know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia: "This man was born there."
And of Zion they shall say: "One and all were born in her;"
And he who has established her is the Most High LORD."

R. God is with us.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."

R. God is with us

Apocalypse 21, 1-4 (NRSV)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

The Word of God / Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ

Song of Meditation

We suggest you take time to ponder the word of God with a Taize song1 such as:

  • Dona la pace Signore
  • Bless the Lord my soul

John 14 19-21.27-28 (NRSV)
In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.

The gospel of God / Praise to you Lord Jesus.


A person can develop just how the scripture relates to the theme of this celebration (Jerusalem, my home is within you) and how it relates to our everyday life.

There may also be a discussion. Here are some questions that might facilitate this exchange.

  • What is your hope for Jerusalem, despite the conflict in the Middle East?
  • How can we transform our world to bring about a new heaven and new earth?
  • How can love and peace be a part of our life?


We suggest reading the prayer for peace inspired by Francis of Assisi or signing a version of this prayer like Make me be a channel of your peace set to music by Sebastian Temple, ©1967 by OCP. GATHER #524

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


Let us pray

Solicit spontaneous prayers from the assembly, and/or read the following prayer:
Ecumenical prayer for peace from Archimandrite Mtanios Haddad, Greek Catholic (Melkite) Patriarchate, Jerusalem2.

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Assembly: God have mercy (or Kyrie eleison - repeated after each verse)

  • For peace in the whole world, the well-being of the Holy Churches of God and the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all victims of bloodshed and violence, as well as for the perpetrators of these evils, let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all the children and the young people, that you may give them hope for the future; let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all bereaved families, the unemployed and all who seek to help them,
    let us pray to the Lord.
  • For the guidance of your Holy Spirit for all the leaders of this land (...) that they may be inspired to work for your peace with your justice, let us pray to the Lord.

Prayer and Blessing

For the blessing, we suggest you do one or more of these symbolic gestures.

  • Turn symbolically towards Jerusalem (east) for the last prayer.
  • Hold hands.
  • Place the hand on the shoulder of the person nearest you. The shoulder is where we carry our daily crosses.

Conclusive prayer of His Eminence Archbishop Dr. Anba Abraham Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate2.

O Lord God Almighty, we raise our hearts to you asking for Your mercy. Please God, look upon us, Your children, in the turmoil of this troubled world, full of suffering, pain, depression, persecution, violence, bitterness, hatred, and, above all, injustice. O Lord, have mercy upon us.

Grant Your peace to our city, the city of peace, that has long suffered and is still suffering from the grief of wars.

O Lord, remember all those who are persecuted and tortured - defend them. Remember the bereaved - give them condolence. Homes for the homeless, quick recovery for the sick, and repentance to sinners. Guide the world leaders to be just and understanding.

We pray for justice and peace to prevail everywhere. O Lord God our Father, grant us peace - not that of the world - but your heavenly everlasting peace that you promised us deep in our hearts. Give us the power to forgive and forget and fill our hearts with love towards all for the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen.


May the blessing of the God of peace and justice be with us;
May the blessing of the Son who weeps for the suffering of the world be with us;
And the blessing of the Spirit that leads us toward reconciliation and hope be with us now and throughout eternity.


  • Peace is flowing like a River (OCP, 494)
  • Peace I leave with you (CBW II, 700)


  1. These songs are available on

  2. This prayer comes from the resources of the World Concil of Churches.

  3. 2003 © Clare McBeath, from the World Council of Churches Web Site





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