from St Anne's

11.30am Friday 21 June 2024 – Service for a Day of Reflection

Belfast Cathedral - 11.30am Friday 21 June 2024 – Service for a Day of Reflection


All from across our land are invited to this Service for the Day of Reflection, “The Hope of Lament”. The service is jointly hosted by Belfast Cathedral and the Corrymeela Community, in partnership with many organisations involved with community reconciliation and restoration.

This service is for everyone who has lived through or continues to be impacted by the violence of “the Troubles” which continues to affect all in this nation.

In this service, and on this day, we offer a space to reflect on the conflict in, and about, Northern Ireland as well as the future that is before us.

In this space we acknowledge our deep hurt and pain, reflect on what we might have done or might still do, and commit ourselves to a future where such suffering and loss does not happen.

This service is part of the Day of Reflection, established by Healing Through Remembering in 2007 and held on the longest day of the year. Using the biblical practice of lament, Church leaders stand with victims and survivors in marking our collective hurt and in committing ourselves to ensuring we do not return to the violence of the past.

About The Day of Reflection

There is no day in the year’s calendar untouched by violence from the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Today, as the sun reaches its highest point in the northern hemisphere and seems to stop in the sky, we pause to reflect on our own attitudes, consider what more we might have done or might still do in the face of violence, and make a personal commitment that such loss should never be allowed to happen again.

About the Act of Lament

Lament provides an honest, active and nonviolent response to violence. Practices of lament invite us to bring our pain before God, creating space to address unspeakable hurt within the security of God’s undying love and with faith in God’s desire for justice. The hope of lament is that in acknowledging what is wrong, we might find the courage to right ourselves towards a more just future.

A central purpose of today’s service is to remind followers of Christ that the Church is to stand not with those on one side or another in conflict, but with victims and survivors on all sides. We lament that in our troubled history, churches have too often remained silent – giving tacit support to harm done in ‘God’s name’ – or worse: providing moral cover to those engaged in violence.

Lament leads us to commit to a peaceful new society: one in which Christians are among those actively involved in the healing of one’s own self, one’s community and the greater whole.

Please see below highlights from the 2023 Service of Lament and Hope

The 2024 Service of Reflection, The Hope of Lament, is supported by the following organisations.