Vigil offers prayers and support following Newtown tragedy

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Putnam - posted Tue., Dec. 18, 2012
The St. Mary's choir sings 'Be Not Afraid' at the start of the Putnam vigil. Photos by D. Coffey.
The St. Mary's choir sings 'Be Not Afraid' at the start of the Putnam vigil. Photos by D. Coffey.

Across the state, one faith community after another responded to the Newtown, Conn., tragedy by holding prayers, services and vigils. At St. Mary Church of the Visitation, in Putnam, a simple vigil was held on the night of Dec. 16. A cold rain didn't stop worshippers from taking their places in the pews of the Catholic church.

Three of four Advent candles were lit. At the foot of the altar stood a large votive candle and the statue of a childlike angel resting his head on his knees. The choir practiced singing “Be Not Afraid,” as they waited for students attending confirmation classes in the basement to join the service.

A teen handed out programs with the song selections and the readings. People were encouraged to share their sentiments with the parishioners of Newtown's Rose of Lima Church. Paper and pens were provided.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was recited at the end of the service. Two prayers, repeated for five decades, were sung by a choir. One woman fingered her rosary beads while praying. The drummer knelt on the floor of the west transept. Some people knelt, while others sat with their heads in their hands.

At the end of the service, those who had attended filled two baskets with notes of sympathy.

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