"Given the escalation of violence, Benedict XVI has named Sunday as a day of prayer and penance for peace in the Middle East." The official Vatican communique (hat tip to Zenit ) says:
The Holy Father is following with great concern the destinies of all the peoples involved and has proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace.
Many parishes won't even mention this proclamation-if they do it is unlikely they will have suggestions. Thus I would humbly suggest that you and family (or better yet your family and your friends) determine ahead of time, like today or tomorrow, how you will participate in prayer and penance.
Here are a couple suggestions off the top of my head:
1. If you don't already say the rosary on Sunday-do so this Sunday.
2. Ditto for the the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
3. Make Sunday dinner (which in our house is always a little bigger, as in dessert, and more flamboyant than the rest of the week) a little smaller, for example: no dessert for starters.
4. Suspend the TV for the day (or a lifetime for that matter.)
5. Fast (Sunday is usually never a fast day-but when the Holy Father calls for a day of penance, is fasting allowed?)
6. Suspend the computer for the day.
--I'm sure y'all can think of more-this is just for starters.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!