In the aftermath of 9/11, members of the clergy in New York City organized many interfaith prayer events that acknowledged our common humanity.
During this holiday season the 9/11 Tribute Museum was grateful to be able to bring back the warmth of that post-9/11 spirit by hosting an interfaith program for families.
We were inspired to see children and adults working on beautiful designs and writing profound messages on their peace lanterns. It was wonderful to have clergy members from different faith traditions offering their prayers for light, kindness and peace during this festive period.
Clergy from four faith traditions interacted with the audience to create lanterns and each recited a short traditional prayer in its original language, then interpreted the prayer in English. Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, Imam Muhammad Shahidullah and Avadhuta H.H. Jagat Guru Dileepji Maharaj represented Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu religions, respectively. Each religion incorporates decorative lights into its holiday celebration. Rabbi Lau-Lavie reminded the audience that immediately after the world was created light was the next key element – ‘Let there be light’.
Participants ranged in age from 16 months to 75. “Love will prevail and there will be no more 9/11’s” wrote guest Barbara Wolf on the side of her lantern. The event was presented in collaboration with the Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York.