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Station 4


We now enter the old city in northern Gaza. We look one way and see St. Porphyrius Orthodox Church and look another and see the Grand Omari Mosque, both now in rubble. Being here brings to mind other holy places: The Holy Family Catholic Church, Gaza Baptist Church, the many mosques throughout Gaza and the Synagogues beyond the border, at their best, places of devotion, worship, and hope.

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Saint Porphyrius is said to be the third oldest church in the world. Around 2,000 people sheltered at the church during the 2014 war. The church is being used in the same way now. However, on October 19th, two halls collapsed in a nearby Israeli airstrike, killing 18 of the refugees sheltering at the church. Watch this short overview of the church in the last few decades.

The Grand Omari Mosque (also known as the Grand Mosque of Gaza) was the largest and oldest mosque in Gaza. There is a legend that this is the site where the Philistine temple stood toppled by Sampson and that Sampson is buried underneath this mosque. Israel struck the mosque in December, reducing most of the building to rubble. Only the minaret still stands, reminding us of what was once there.

Although these buildings have been desecrated by the violence of war, they remain monuments to the centuries of holy devotion offered in them. As we pause to pray here, our spiritual posture should be one of responding to what we have seen, lamenting, praying, and deciding to act.

For Gaza: Psalm 64 (excerpts)

From Jewish Prayers for Gaza,


Hear our voices when we cry out
for life, for ceasefire,
for an end to this endless night
of terror.


Keep us from those who equivocate
with their apologetics, those
who would calmly rationalize away
horrors that can never be justified.


One day the world
will hang its head in shame
for looking away
from such cruelty as this.

Until then we will continue
to cry out for justice,
unleashing our song of liberation
throughout the land...

Have Mercy on Us/Them

Adapted from "The Litany", Common Worship


Holy Blessed One,

Have mercy on us.


From all evil, pride, envy, hatred, malice, and from all evil intent,

Good Lord, deliver us.


From famine and disaster;

From violence, murder, and dying unprepared,

Good Lord, deliver them.


In times of sorrow and times of joy;

In the hour of death and the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver them.


This war and oppression is not your desire for humanity. Guide the leaders of the nations into the ways of peace and justice, that there may be a ceasefire in Gaza that gives space for making things right.

Hear us, good Lord.


Bring an end to bombing, to occupation, to dependence on military might, to restriction of movement and work, and to fear of the other.

Hear us, good Lord.


Help and comfort the lonely, bereaved, and oppressed. Bear the burden of the deaths and pain your people carry.

Hear us, good Lord.


Provide for those who have been displaced, those who go hungry, and those who flee violence. Preserve the lives of those who are injured and vulnerable.

Hear us, good Lord.


Give us true repentance.

Forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance.


Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives, to see our family in Gaza, and to mourn with those who mourn.

Holy God, have mercy upon us.


Thank you Karen and Zach Savella Stallard for writing and praying elements of this liturgy first.

Du’a for Anxiety (excerpts)

From Duas for Palestine

To You we complain of our weakness, our failure, our shame before the people. O Most Merciful! You are the Lord of the weak and oppressed.

May Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ rectify the affairs of the Palestinians, may He shower them with His mercy, pour upon them patience, make them steadfast, and grant them victory over their oppressors. May He elevate their ranks and reunite them with their loved ones.

That They May Not Grow Weary

Prayer from Holy Week with Gaza (excerpts)

From Sabeel, Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center,


Gracious and Loving God, We gather in Your presence with hearts full of gratitude.


Bless, O Lord, each person who has chosen to stand up against oppression, to speak out against wrongdoing, and to lend their voice to the voiceless. May their actions reflect Your love and bring hope to those who have been marginalized and disenfranchised. 


We pray for Your continued guidance and support for these champions of justice, that they may not grow weary in their endeavors. May their efforts bear fruit in creating a more just, compassionate, and equitable world, where every person can live in peace and with dignity. 


Inspire us all to join in this sacred work, recognizing our shared humanity and the interconnectedness of our lives. Grant us the wisdom to understand the ways we can contribute to healing and change and give us the courage to act upon that understanding. May our collective actions serve as a testament to Your boundless love and mercy, and may we never forget the power of solidarity in bringing about transformation and renewal. In Your Holy Name, we pray, Amen.

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