What is a “Vigil”?

A Vigil is a period of “watch” or “wakefulness.” In the context of the International Day of Peace Vigil, it could be done in the form of prayer, meditation or other manner of spiritual observance with an objective on peace awareness. It could also be a commitment to peaceful thoughts and acts of kindness and love throughout the day.

Why a “24-hour vigil”?

The Vigil corresponds with The United Nations resolution that calls for an entire day of peace and nonviolence and invites “all nations and peoples to honour the cessation of hostilities for the duration of the day.” A global day-long Vigil focused on peace would be a powerful force in promoting the cessation of violence and creating a more peaceful state among peoples.

What is the meaning of “peace” in the context of the Vigil?

The International Day of Peace has a very tangible goal of a day-long peaceful world. The cessation of conflict for that day is one form of peace. The resolution also states, however, that the day should be focused on strengthening the ideals of peace and alleviating tensions and causes of conflict among peoples and governments. In its broadest sense, it is more than just alleviating violence, peace is community building with an internal state of concord and tranquility.

How can my group participate in the Vigil?

Groups are asked to participate by focusing the group’s awareness on the cessation of violent conflict throughout the world and in promoting peaceful behaviour for the entire 24 hour period on 21 September. The group may wish to observe the Vigil by designating different individuals at different times to pray, meditate or otherwise celebrate the day in that group’s house of worship or other suitable place.

How could I, as an individual, participate?

An individual could participate in many different ways. She/he might perform a day-long prayer, meditation or fast. One might also complete his/her daily Vigil by keeping an awareness of peace in all daily activities and by striving to think peaceful and loving thoughts throughout the day.

Can I still participate if I cannot commit to a 24-hour period?

Yes. Not everyone will be able to commit to a 24-hour duration. Do whatever you can, keeping the goals of the Vigil in mind.