Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria (CCC) held their Christmas Interfaith Remembrance Service on Sunday 18 December 2022 at St Mary’s Cathedral with the largest attendance post-COVID filling the cathedral to remember the special people in our lives who have departed.
The uplifting annual event commemorates family and friends who are no longer with us and features beautiful hymns and carols sung by a live choir. This years’ service included the opportunity for all attendees to light a remembrance candle at the front of the cathedral to celebrate the life of a loved one.
Lighting a candle is something humans have done for centuries to remember those who have died. It is a simple and easy way to feel peace and connection. The candle tribute continued, as the interior lights were dimmed and Silent Night was sung. Attendees lit the electronic candles they received and recited the names of those they had come to remember, while reflecting on personal memories.
The service was led by Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Sydney, the Most Reverend Terry Brady with readers from different faith backgrounds. At the conclusion of the service, the attendees moved outside to Cathedral Square to view the stunning light show that is a part of Christmas at the Cathedral festival.
The Dean of the Cathedral and CCC staff were delighted to welcome the Hon. Mark Coure MP, Minister for Multiculturalism, Chris Zinn, Chair of the CCC Stakeholder Engagement Council as well as community representatives Kazi Ali and Zia Ahmad from the Muslim community.
The service is one of the unique events that CCC holds that brings together the multi-cultural communities it serves. In the spirit of interfaith collaboration, CCC has created strong and respectful alliances with many multi-faith groups including the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and indigenous communities.
This moving service of remembrance and hope also provides help to those who may be struggling during the Christmas/holiday period and is an integral part of CCC’s spiritual heart of care and compassion for all in the community.
Lauren Hardgrove, COO noted “The Remembrance Service is always well received by those who attend, who appreciate being able to honour those who still hold a place in their hearts, from whatever background they may come from.”
We wish everyone in the CCC community a happy and safe 2023.