“A Day of Remembrance & Worship: Honoring the lives lost on Sri Lanka’s Easter Day Attacks,” an ecumenical service on May 18th at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, included speakers of the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian faiths.
The music featured between the segments included in the episode was provided by William Doreza.
The service opened with the service’s organizer, Dinushka DeSilva, ringing a bell eight times for each explosion, followed by a moment of silence for those attacked in St. Anthony’s Church, Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Kingsbury, St. Sebastion’s, Zion Church, a guesthouse in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, and a housing project in Dematagoda.
An Islamic Prayer for Peace, recited by Afthab Zainudeen
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful: Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who created us and made us into tribes and nations that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towarads peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility and when we address them we say “Peace.”
Buddhist Metta Bavana and reflection by Manage Nissanka
May no one deceive or look down on anyone anywhere, for any reason. Whether through feeling angry or through reacting to someone else, may no one want another to suffer. As strongly as a mother, perhaps risking her life, cherishes her child, her only child, develop an unlimited heart for all beings. Develop an unlimited heart of friendliness for the entire universe, sending metta above, below, and all around, beyond all narrowness, beyond all rivalry, beyond all hatred.
Whether you are staying in one place or traveling, sitting down or in bed, in all your waking hours rest in this mindfulness, which is known as like living in heaven right here and now!
In this ay, you will come to let go of views, be spontaneously ethical, and have perfect insight. And leaving behind craving for sense pleasures, from the rounds of rebirth you will finally be completely free!
May all sentient beings be happy, free of suffering, at peace, and live with ease. Transfer merits of this good deed to the victims of this massacre and your departed loved ones.
From the Hindu Upanishads, read by Kanaga Sena
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the real. Lead us from darkness to light. Lead us from death to immortality. Peace, peace, and peace unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing. May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May the Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all and may that peace come to me also.
Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe. Peace, peace, peace.
Wisdom of Solomon, read by Dinushka DeSilva
But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.
Hymn of Sri Lanka
O Father, Thou has promised
The isles shall wait for Thee,
The joyous isles of ocean,
The jewels of the sea.
Lo! We, this island’s watchmen
Would give and take no rest;
For thus has Thou commanded
Till our dear land is blessed.
Then bless her mighty Father
With blessings needed most,
In every verdant village,
By every palmy coast,
On every soaring mountain,
O’er every spreading plain,
May all her sons and daughters
Thy righteousness attain.
Give peace within her borders
Twixt man and man goodwill,
The love all unsuspicious,
The love that works no ill.
In loyal lowly service,
Let each from other learn,
The guardian and the guarde,
Till peace itself doth reign.