Titled “To life from death, to the living from the dead, to hope from sorrow,” the prayer brought together priests, pastors and the faithful to pray together in Sinhala and Tamil for the soldiers, Tamil Tigers and civilians who lost their lives during almost 30 years of conflict.
The commemoration, which was held at Saint Michal’s (Anglican) Church in Colombo, emphasised how the birth of Jesus is the only hope for peace and reconciliation in the country.
In a symbolic gesture, participants gathered around a map of Sri Lanka and lit lamps in memory of the dead in each district of the island nation (pictured).
The ecumenical prayer was led by Father Sathivel and Mahinda Namal, leader of the Sinhalese community, who told AsiaNews, “We lit two types of candles, one for the dearly departed, and the other for the Advent of Jesus.”
“In this Christmas,’ he said, “God urges us to devote ourselves to building his Kingdom on earth through the gift of ‘hope” to the victims of war, to the refugees and those who are hungry, without shelter or protection. God calls on us to bring them hope. For this, we must hold high the lights of Advent with determination.”