Holding the Light ecumenical service

Holding the Light is an ecumenical service, welcome to all, to remember victims and survivors of family and domestic violence, with the aim to stand in solidarity with victims and survivors of domestic violence, and to remember those who have been killed as a result of domestic violence in Australia.

Now in its 6th year, the Holding the Light service will be held (in person, if permitted) in Melbourne (and online everywhere) on Sunday 28 November 2021, at 2.30pm.

While it is held within the Christian tradition, all who might like to join together and take part in a ritual, a time of quiet, lament, and prayer/reflection, on the tragic results of violence are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The service provides an opportunity to commit ourselves and our faith communities: parishes, churches, schools and social services, to be a part of real and positive change for the future.

We remember:

  • Those killed as a result of domestic violence by naming those who are victims in the service, and by ringing a gong for each of them
  • Stand in solidarity with victim/survivors by recognising their pain, and listening to their voices
  • Take time to reflect and commit ourselves to addressing the drivers of violence in our own attitudes, communities and contexts
  • Take hope in the Christian message that all may be healed and redeemed, while acknowledging the ongoing trauma, suffering and danger experienced by so many in our communities due to the ongoing use of violence and abuse.

We hope that in-person attendance will be possible for this service. However, we realise that due to the pandemic it is likely there will be restricted/unpredictable numbers allowed.

The service will be live streamed for all who cannot attend in person for whatever reason. Therefore, it is necessary to RSVP and this will allow the organising committee to keep you updated with appropriate links for online access and timely information on COVID safe in-person attendance.

Holding the Light is held in solidarity with, and as a part of a Christian response to, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence — this is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. Started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 it continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

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