[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Bishop of Davao, in the Philippines, Jonathan Casimina, has led a candlelit memorial service at the site of last week’s terrorist attack at the Roxas Night Market. Some 14 people were killed and around 70 injured when two improvised explosive devices were detonated as people enjoyed the city’s vibrant night life. The market is home to street stalls and cafes selling a range of merchandise and food and is a popular destination on the island.
A makeshift memorial shrine of flowers and votive candles has built up at the site; alongside placards containing messages of condolences for the victims and bereaved families as well as words of hope and encouragement for the city in mourning.
“Amidst the gloomy atmosphere of fear and speculations, rays of hope still shine through the darkness with the continued presence and demonstration of solidarity and resilience among local residents rooted in their faith,” Brother Gilbert Martinez from the Diocese of Davao said. “The outpouring of support from all sectors both here and abroad in responding to the plight of the victims continued, and providing support to the city’s immediate and valiant efforts to bury the dead with dignity, ease the pain of the survivors, and pursue justice.”
The candlelit memorial service – Candles of Hope for Unity, Justice and Peace – was held on Tuesday evening, just four days after the bomb attack. It was held “to gather all people of goodwill from all walks of life notwithstanding ethnic and religious differences to stand in solidarity with the victims, the bereaved and all who suffered from the deadly bomb blast,” Brother Gilbert said.
A candlelit memorial service has been held to remember the victims of last week’s terror attack at the Roxas Night Market in Davao.
Photo: Diocese of Davao
“Prayers were offered and candles lit in the memorial vigil service to symbolise our faith in Christ the invincible eternal light that shines out through the darkness and to manifest our unity and hope in our collective struggle to find a lasting solution to this longstanding bloody conflict and finally give way for peace and justice to reign in this land.”
The diocese sent liturgy outlines to partner churches and dioceses elsewhere in the Anglican Communion so that simultaneous candle-lit memorial services of prayer could be held.
The service in the Roxas night market included a message from Bishop Casimina and was built around the Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer of Saint Francis. It demonstrated that “compassionate love and hope for justice and peace far outweigh . . . the forces of evil and darkness that sought to sow hatred and violence, reap havoc and distress among the people longing for true and lasting peace,” Brother Gilbert said.
“Please remember all the victims, the bereaved, the Church and people of Davao City in your prayers. . . Your prayers and words of condolences greatly encouraged us to be strong and strive to continue on in our struggle towards achieving justice for the victims and lasting peace not only in Davao but throughout Mindanao.”