Scouts International Peace Light Service

Each Advent season, the Scout International Peace Light travels from Bethlehem around the world.

Towns and faith communities hold services for receiving the light and for sending it forth.

These resources are for use in a Peace Light Service.

Peace Light Prayer

May the kindly spirit of Christmas spread its radiance far and wide,

So all the world may feel the glow, of this Holy Christmastide.

So may this light of peace today that has travelled many miles,

Bring joy and hope to many, and fill each face with smiles.

So may every heart and home continue through the year,

To feel the warmth and wonder of this season of good cheer.

And may it bring us closer to God and to each other,

With every stranger known as friend, whether Sister or a Brother.

A Peace Poem

by David Roberts, 1999

There will be no peace:

till attitudes change;

till self-interest is seen as part of common interest;

till old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes are deleted from the account;

till the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit

rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal or group gain;

till justice and equality before the law become the basis of government;

till basic freedoms exist;

till leaders – political, religious, educational – and the police and media

wholeheartedly embrace the concepts of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance,

and reconciliation as a basis for renewal;

till parents teach their children new ways to think about people.

There will be no peace

till enemies become fellow human beings.

(shared at the 2015 Scout Peace Light service in Salisbury, United Kingdom)

A Prayer of Commitment

“We gladly receive the light

as a sign of our willingness to be channels of peace,

by our words and actions..”

Explanation

The Peace Light from Bethlehem campaign was originally organised by the Austrian Broadcasting Company – ORF (Linz) – and was part of a large charitable relief mission – Light into Darkness, for children in need in Austria and abroad.

Since 1986 there has been co-operation between Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe, such that the light is passed on to 30 European Countries and for the past few years, on to North America, Mexico and Canada.

Each year, a child, the “Peace Child,” from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” from the Nativity Grotto in Bethlehem. The light is then flown to Austria and distributed at a Service of Dedication to delegations from across Europe who carry it, with a message of Peace, to their own countries for use at ecumenical services.

Scouts and Guides then carry the light to other churches, hospitals and places of public, cultural and political importance – to anybody or group that appreciates the significance of the “gift.”  In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Mikhail Gorbachov, the former King Hussain of Jordan, European Union President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strasbourg, the United Nations Troops in Kosovo and Ground Zero, New York USA.