Remembering with hope

The cry of a small child punctuated the Service of Remembrance and Hope held at Sacred Heart Cathedral on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Bali bombings which killed three Novocastrians and changed the lives of many others irrevocably. 

The liturgy was led by Bishop Bill Wright; Dean of the Cathedral, Rev Andrew Doohan; and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Rev Stephen Williams.

While there was an atmosphere of solemnity and some tears shed, for me, the child captured the purpose of it all. We came together to remember, to reflect, to mourn but also to express a shared hope, to ask God’s blessing and to look to a peace-filled future.

The service included an invitation to participants to drop petals into a pool beneath the paschal candle, creating an image of the beauty and appeal of Bali as well as a gesture of remembrance.

The symbol was about life, about people coming together around the beauty of creation. The local families who survived the bombing will never forget and for each one, the experience is different. Rev Stephen Williams proclaimed the reading from Ecclesiastes which says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven.”

I believe we honour those who have died by living well, and the gospel says, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

We will continue to pray, to light candles and to sing hymns but also to snap photos of sunsets and enjoy the beauty of flowers.

Bishop Bill blessed the congregation with these words:

Go forth into the world in peace;

Be of good courage;

Hold fast to that which is good;

Render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak;

Help the afflicted;

Give honour to all; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Go in peace, drawing comfort from God and from each other.

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Tracey Edstein Image
Tracey Edstein

Tracey Edstein is the former editor of Aurora Magazine, the official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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