Vigil marks 2 weeks since school slaugh­ter

In­ter­faith gath­er­ing seeks heal­ing through unity.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - Byjohn Christof­fersen CAROL KALIFF / AP

NEW­TOWN, CONN. — Clergy from numer­ous faiths came to­gether Fri­day in New­town to mark the pass­ing of two weeks since the ele­men­tary school mas­sacre with a vigil to pray for heal­ing.

Re­li­gious lead­ers gath­ered with a few dozen oth­ers at a wind-swept, snowy soc­cer field to of­fer words of sup­port for the com­mu­nity.

“Your faith lead­ers want you to know that we con­tinue to stand with you as we all con­tinue to deal with this great tragedy that has be­fallen our beloved com­mu­nity of New­town,” said the Rev. Jack Tan­ner of New­town Chris­tian Church. “It is only the be­gin­ning of a long heal­ing process that we will all go through.”

The vigil in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ro­man Catholic, Epis­co­pal, Methodist, Con­gre­ga­tional, Bud­dhist, Mus­lim and other places of wor­ship.

Gun­man Adam Lanza, 20, shot his way into Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary on Dec. 14 and killed 20 first-grade stu­dents and six adult staff mem­bers. He also killed his mother be­fore go­ing on the school ram­page and then com­mit­ting sui­cide.

“We are your chil­dren, your hurt­ing chil­dren from many faiths, many tra­di­tions, many cul­tures, from many parts of the earth,” said the Rev. Leo McIl­rath of the Lutheran Home of South­bury. “We are in pain and we ask for your heal­ing.”

Vicky Truitt, who works at New­town Con­gre­ga­tional Church, said she had been feel­ing worn down be­fore the ser­vice.

“To­day it was help­ful, the prayers that they gave, to hear all the dif­fer­ent de­nom­i­na­tions all to­gether as one,” Truitt said. “Even the ones where you didn’t un­der­stand the words, you could un­der­stand the feel­ing that was be­hind them.”

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