Monday, 21 October, marked six months since the horrendous Easter Sunday attacks unfolded in late April. To commemorate the victims’ passing, St. Anthony’s Church, Mount Lavinia held a memorial service on Sunday, 20 October.
The remembrance followed the customary Sunday mass, however it was devoted to the victims. After this, the English and Sinhala choirs, alongside Choral Spectrum, coordinated together to convey global respects and condolences of which adopted the form of hymns.
An added hour dedicated to hymns brought out the diverse emotions the families of these victims gave face to, with the hymns leading from sorrow to appeasing the soul with a sense of peace towards the end.
Yasawaradana, one of the few survivors of the bombings, as well as a mother and wife who unfortunately lost her entire family, was invited to share her story first-hand. What began to ring with melancholy, concluded with the heartfelt message, “I am moving on for the Lord is my strength and what happened to me has not worn away my faith, but is reason to more openly express my trust in the Lord.”
Finally, attendees were welcomed to light lamps to pay their respects prior to leaving. The memorial subsequently had a compelling and emotional outcome on both those passively and actively partaking in it.
Specials thanks to Parish Priest Reverend Father Anton Saman Hettiarachchige, the English church choir led by Shenal Fernando, the Sinhala church choir directed by Sumudhu Obeysekara, Choral Spectrum and Petite Chorale by Haasinee Halpe Andree, musicians: Sebastian Benjerot on the cello, Anoma Fernando on the viola, accompanied by Kisholi Mathiaparanam, B.R. Amavin Mendis who captured timeless images of the remembrance and all those who made this memorial possible.
– Carl Joshua De Zoysa Siriwardhana