The first words Jesus speaks from the cross are: "Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing" On the night of November 14, 1940 Nazi bombs fell on the city of Coventry, England. The next morning the surviving citizens surveyed the destruction and wept that their medieval cathedral was now burned ruins. Immediately they decided that they would build a new cathedral while leaving the shell of the old church as a reminder of the sadness of war and a place to pray about forgiveness.
Every Friday the community gathers in what was the sanctuary to pray this prayer before a cross made of burned roof timbers and adorned with medieval nails found in the rubble.
The HATRED which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class, Father forgive.
The COVETOUS desires of men and nations to possess what is not their own, Father forgive.
The GREED which exploits the labors of men, and lays waste the earth, Father forgive.
Our ENVY of the welfare and happiness of others, Father forgive.
Our INDIFFERENCE to the plight of the homeless and the refugee, Father forgive.
The LUST which uses for ignoble ends the bodies of men and women and children, Father forgive.
The PRIDE which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God, Father forgive.