Monday, 23 June 2008

Halls Creek and Balgo celebrate healing and reconciliation around Cross & Icon

Today’s events began in Halls Creek with a liturgy attended by the primary school students and members of the community. The liturgy included a smoking ceremony and water blessing by local elders, as well as lots of singing and participation from the school students. Symbols of rocks, flowers and leaves were placed around the Cross during veneration as a symbol of our placing our heavy burdens as well as our hopes and joys at the foot of the Cross.

Later in the day the Aboriginal community at Balgo welcomed the Cross & Icon, beginning with the women placing flowers around the symbols and the young people processing through the community.

As the last glimpse of sun shone on the horizon, the procession made its way out to the Sorry Camp, where the family and close friends of a recently deceased teenager member of the community are in mourning. It was really touching to see the people from the Sorry Camp, their heads covered in ashes, coming to the Cross to pray.
The evening continued with a time of veneration and reconciliation around a blazing fire. I was really struck by the reverence of the evening – at one stage the line to come and touch the Cross & Icon snaked around for about 30 metres – and the warmth and glow of the fire was a really great mirror for the Cross as a symbol of the greatness of God’s love for us and the way that can set us on fire and make us come alight!
The other great thing about today was that there are young people coming from Halls Creek and Balgo to Sydney and it was lovely to see the excitement on the faces of the pilgrims who will be flying out from Broome in only a few weeks time.

Bernadette :)

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