Eighty two candles symbolizing the 82 lives lost to abortion each day across New South Wales, Australia, were carried in solemn procession to commemorate lives lost to abortion at the annual Memorial Mass for the Unborn which was held at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Friday.
Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, and priests from the Archdiocese celebrated the Mass.
"Each candle represents one tragic story drawn from an all too often indifferent and uncaring society in which a woman's capacity to bear life is seen as a problem and a burden. But the light that will burn for these children is also a sign of the eternal light of God's mercy that will shine on them," the cardinal said in his homily.
The Sydney Memorial Mass for the Unborn was inspired by the Requiem Mass for the Unborn held each year in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. LA's Archbishop Jose Gomez invited Cardinal Pell to concelebrate that Mass in January 2011. The cardinal saw a need for a similar Memorial Mass for the Unborn in Australia.
Students from Sydney's Catholic schools carried candles representing the 82 unborn babies lost to abortion each day in New South Wales.
Sydney's inaugural Memorial Mass for the Unborn was held at St Mary's Cathedral last year, with more than 700 joining in solidarity to commemorate the loss of life through abortion and to give those whose lives have been affected by abortion an opportunity to grieve and to heal.
This year even more people attended the Memorial Mass for the Unborn.
"This year's Mass was a very beautiful, solemn and respectful ceremony which I hope brought as much solace and comfort to others as it brought me," one first-time attendee said as she watched the 82 lighted candles carried from the Cathedral and placed outside on the Western steps.
The candles were arranged to form a cross, which continued to shine throughout the night as a public memorial to the unborn and all those who had lost their lives as the result of abortion.