As June 21 is given increasing recognition across Northern Ireland as a Day of Reflection, Corrymeela, in partnership with Belfast Cathedral, will bring people together to St Anne’s Cathedral for the third annual Service of Lament.
Extending the invitation on behalf of the Dean, Healing through Remembering, the WAVE Trauma Centre and other partners, the Rev Dr Alexander Wimberly, Leader of the Corrymeela Community, said: “As the sun reaches its highest point, we are given time to pause and acknowledge the grief that countless individuals have experienced through sectarian violence – and to commit ourselves to a more hope-filled future for everyone.”
The Service of Lament begins at 11.30am.
Dr Wimberly said that while this is ‘a Christian service for a society marked by sectarian violence,’ the liturgy is designed as an ecumenical experience.
“At St Anne’s, leaders of both Catholic and Protestant churches stand alongside victims and survivors. They alternate reading the lead parts of the liturgy to demonstrate leadership on equal standing. Instead of one voice dominating the service with a sermon or sacramental act, multiple voices are heard. This year those who are victims and survivors will be joined Bishop Alan Abernethy, and Abbot Mark-Ephrem Nolan of the Rostrevor Benedictines
“The service includes a generous amount of silence with the explicit recognition that well intended words often arrive as irrelevant noise, that too often churches in Northern Ireland remained silent in the face of sectarian violence when they could have been more outspoken, and that silence held together can be both difficult and beneficial.”
Dr Wimberly said this ‘very powerful’ service can bring a degree of healing to a painful and often unspoken part of someone’s life.
“At the service last year, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland remarked on how rare it is for us in this society to come together to acknowledge our collective pain,” he said. “The Archbishop of Armagh (RC) noted that we have separated ourselves from each other – even in our grief.
“A shared service of lament provides an opportunity for us to be together as we find the courage to remember the past and seek hope for a better future.”
A link to the livestream of the event will be available on the day at: https://www.youtube.com/@CorryCentre