Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria (CCC) held their annual Christmas Inter-Faith Remembrance Service on Sunday 12 December 2021 at St Mary’s Cathedral with over 300 people in attendance commemorating family and friends who are no longer with us. The service was also available to view via live stream.

The service, which is celebrated each December, features beautiful carols and hymns sung by a choir. There is a candle tribute wherein candles were lit during the service in remembrance of those loved ones.

This is one of the unique events that CCC holds that brings together the multi-cultural communities it serves. The evening was also an opportunity for leaders of multiple faith communities to come together after several months of separation due to COVID.

The Cathedral was delighted to welcome the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, as well as community leaders Mr Kazi Ali, President of the Muslim Cemeteries Board and Gawaine Powell Davies, Chair of the Buddhist Council of NSW.

Inside St Mary’s Cathedral (left to right) Front row: Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, Mr Peter O’Meara, CEO of Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria, Mr Kazi Ali, President of the Muslim Cemeteries Board.

The service was led by Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney 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 Lights of Christmas display on the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral.

In this spirit of inter-religious collaboration, CCC has created strong and respectful alliances with many multi-faith groups including the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities., whereby the interests of these communities are protected.

Mr Kazi Ali, the president of the Muslim Cemeteries Board has been working closely with CCC for several years said, ”Dealing with a mission driven organisation like CCC ensures that the needs of our community and other faith groups are listened to and respected.”

This service with communities from all faiths and backgrounds is an integral part of CCC’s spiritual heart of community engagement.  CCC will continue the inter-faith service and working with the religious leaders and communities in the new year.

Images courtesy of Giovanni Portelli.