INTER-RELIGIOUS PRAYER CEREMONY FOR THE 228 VICTIMS OF FLIGHT AF 447 OF 1ST JUNE 2009, AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS - NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS – WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 2009 AT 4PM
The ceremony will be attended by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris and President of the Bishops Conference of France, Grand Rabbi Haïm Korsia, the Jewish Chaplain for Air Personnel, Mr. Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the French Council of Muslim Faith, Metropolite Emmanuel, President of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of France and Pastor Claude Baty, President of the Protestant Federation of France.
In addition to the Grand Rabbi Haïm Korsia, the Catholic, Protestant and Muslim Chaplains of Paris-Charles de Gaulle will attend: Father Francis Truptil, Father Gérard Sqarcioni, Father Baudouin Tournemire, Pastor Jean Pierre Dassonville and Imam Hazem El-Shaffei.
This ceremony has been prepared together with Air France. It will be a moment of contemplation and prayer for the families and friends of the victims, in a spirit of unity among people from every country and religious belief. Readings will therefore be made in French, English and Brazilian. Prayers will be accompanied by hymns in French, Latin and German by the Choirs of Notre-Dame de Paris and Air France.
At the start of the ceremony, His Eminence Cardinal Vingt-Trois will propose that the families and friends of the victims carry 228 lighted candles to the altar, each one symbolizing a victim.
The families may then take the candle away with them after the ceremony.
Music and Readings:
- Introit from Requiem op. 9, by Maurice Duruflé (Choir of Notre Dame)
- Psalm 42 Wie der Hirsch, by Felix Mendelssohn (Air France Choir)
- Reading: Lamentations 3, 17-26
- Psalm 129 (Choir of Notre Dame and congregation)
- I have waited for thee O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word
- Reading from the Gospel according to Saint Luke (Luke 23, 33-53)
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Chorale Ich harre des Herrn (from Cantata BWV 131) (Choir of Notre-Dame)
- Felix Mendelssohn, Da nobis Pacem (Air France Choir)
- Kyrie, from Requiem op. 9, by Maurice Duruflé (Choir of Notre-Dame)
- Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem, Libera me Domine - (Air France Choir)
The poem Footsteps in the Sand by Brazilian poet Ademar de Barros will be read at the end of the ceremony.
One night, I dreamed a dream, I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma. "Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I need You most, You leave me”.
He whispered “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
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