By collectively focusing our wills toward preventing genocide, we stand up for what is right in the world. Whether you work alone or with a group, you can make a difference. Where there's a will, there's a way.
The ritual itself is simple. It may be performed on its own, or incorporated into an appropriate liturgical or celebratory framework. This is an interfaith event in which all faith traditions may participate.
There are three basic steps to the ritual.
1. Time to Remember. Bring attention to genocides and atrocities past. This is an opportunity to reflect upon tragedies and remember those lost.
2. Time to Awaken. Bring attention to current areas of concern. Atrocities are going on at this very moment. This is an opportunity to wake up to the reality of what is happening right now.
3. Time to Act. Bring finality to the ritual through symbolic action. This is an opportunity to concretely express the intention to prevent genocide. Display an arrangement of flowers--all of one kind--in a central location. Clip the blossoms from these to represent the wholesale slaughter of genocide. Follow this with a moment of silence. If appropriate, finish with a verbalized affirmation to never allow genocide to happen again.
These three steps leave room for adaptation, elaboration, and creativity. Those performing the ritual alone may wish to experience the steps in a meditative or contemplative state, or realize them through prayer or affirmative speech. Those working in groups may hold group prayers, speeches, hymns, or chants. Other possibilities include creative presentations such as musical performances or multimedia slideshows. There may be members in the group personally touched by genocide, whether as survivors or relatives of survivors, and time may be set aside for these people to speak if it is felt appropriate. The possibilities are limited only by the circumstances of the situation and the creative energies of those involved.
The 4th Step: Raising Awareness
In addition to these ritual steps, a further step is key: raising awareness. Display flyers, hand out pamphlets, and discuss what you can do about current events. Send round a donation box for worthy charities, such as Global Grassroots. Consider screening a movie, such as The Devil Came On Horseback (see Films of Conscience). Those working alone may utilize these same materials, posting flyers in appropriate public places, discussing current events with friends, and spreading the word on Facebook. Any materials on our web site may be used freely for the purpose of raising awareness.
For more ideas, see 10 Things You Can Do.
image: The Killing Tree, by La Xtina, showing the type of serrated palm stalks used to slice victims in Cambodia
Complete Organizer's Packet
The organizer's packet is now available! It has everything to help you on your way. In this free packet, you'll find:
* Step by Step ritual planning guide
* GPR Event poster
* Worthy Charities flyer
* 10 Things You Can Do flyer
To download the packet, click below.
Example ritual script for Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF)
Below is one example of incorporating the Genocide Prevention Ritual into a faith tradition's liturgy. Members of other faith traditions should feel free to look at this for inspiration, then incorporate the GPR into their own tradition's liturgical or celebratory style.