The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Senior Imam Qari Asim have united to write a new prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2020.
27 January 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This significant milestone is made particularly poignant by the declining number of survivors who are able to share their testimony.
The prayer, which the faith leaders developed in partnership with Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, can be used by people of any faith at activities marking the day. The prayer highlights the theme of HMD 2020, Stand Together, which encourages communities to stand together to stop division and prevent the spread of hate in society. The theme recognises that genocidal regimes throughout history have deliberately fractured societies by marginalising certain groups.
The prayer reminds us of the horrors of history when prejudices have driven people apart, and calls on people of all faiths and none to stand together to support those who are suffering today.
Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said:
It’s fantastic to see that Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders are standing together and encouraging others to do so too. Holocaust Memorial Day is significant for people of all faiths and backgrounds and each year there are hundreds of faith and interfaith activities organised to mark the day.
On Holocaust Memorial Day in January, we will remember those murdered during the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in more recent genocides, as well as challenging people to stand together to create a safer, more respectful world today.
A prayer for Holocaust Memorial Day
Loving God, we come to you with heavy hearts, remembering the six million Jewish souls murdered during the Holocaust.
In the horrors of that history, when so many groups were targeted because of their identity, and in genocides which followed, we recognise destructive prejudices that drive people apart.
Forgive us when we give space to fear, negativity and hatred of others, simply because they are different from us.
In the light of God, we see everyone as equally precious manifestations of the Divine, and can know the courage to face the darkness.
Through our prayers and actions, help us to stand together with those who are suffering, so that light may banish all darkness, love will prevail over hate and good will triumph over evil.
The Council for Christians and Jews has produced a resource for Christians in a worship setting on or around Holocaust Memorial Day. It includes commentaries, readings, prayers, poems and testimonies.