Attack in Vienna: Mourning service in St. Stephen’s Cathedral

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A mourning service for the victims of the terrorist attack took place Tuesday evening in Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn conducted the service, representatives of the other Christian churches in the country as well as of Islam and Judaism took part. On the political side, representatives included Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka (both ÖVP) and Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ).

The few mourners, among them several ministers, sat in the middle of the cathedral, on the floor in front of them was a flower arrangement of white flowers. Representatives of the religious communities each said a prayer from their holy scriptures and lit a total of five candles for the dead last night.

Schönborn spoke of a mourning service of “reflection, of asking for blessings and peace for all the injured and deceased and for our whole country”. The religious communities invited together in order to show that the “proven commonality and unity of the religious communities must not and cannot be destroyed”. “We ask for peace in our country and in our hearts,” said the Cardinal.

The president of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ), Ümit Vural, condemned the Islamist attack as a “heinous act in the strongest possible terms”. “We live in a city where churches work together and stick together and I am grateful that we can demonstrate this cooperation and cohesion. He asked Allah in his prayer to “turn grief into hope and make the world a place of secure peace”.

The Lutheran Bishop Michael Chalupka and Metropolitan Arsenios (Kardamakis) also asked for peace, comfort, mercy and forgiveness. The Jewish Community was represented by Vice President Claudia Prutscher. The lighting of incense at the end symbolized the ascension of prayers and intercessions to heaven. The funeral service ended with a blessing song.

Due to police security regulations and the current CoV measures, the number of mourners was severely limited. Some mourners had gathered with candles in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

hp, with reports from orf.at. Picture: screenshot, orf.at

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