Vigil marks 2 weeks since school slaughter
Interfaith gathering seeks healing through unity.
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.”