Christians and Muslims came together and prayed together on Wednesday, as part of a special interfaith mass in memory of the victims of the Sydney siege.
More than 150 people filled St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Wollongong, with prayers said for the two victims and the other hostages held for 17 hours inside the Lindt cafe in Martin Place on Monday.
People of numerous faiths and creeds joined in prayer and song, with Christian and Muslim figures leading the congregation.
‘‘We think of the people who died, and also the surviving hostages, whose lives have been changed forever,’’ Father Ron Peters told the gathered masses.
‘‘We think of our Muslim brothers and sisters, working to bring peace and harmony to our area.’’
Gary Ismail of the Coniston mosque, and Munir Hussain of the Gwynneville mosque, were among the Muslim community leaders present at the mass.
Words of gratitude were offered to the police, emergency services, community and political leaders who oversaw the day-long siege.
A similar interfaith mass was held at St Michael’s in Thirroul on Tuesday.
‘‘‘We must teach our children to love their neighbours. We must reach out and embrace others,’’ Fr Peters said in Wollongong.
‘‘Whether in our churches, our mosques or our temples, we must make them places of love.’’
Mr Ismail also offered words of hope in the aftermath of the Sydney tragedy.
‘‘We pray for healing in our community,’’ he said in addressing the crowd.
‘‘We pray for our inclination to love.’’