To honor Vermonters lost to COVID-19 and to process our grief, Vermont Interfaith Action and faith communities across the state held a Memorial Service on Sunday, September 19, 2021 on the Vermont Statehouse Lawn. Find the agenda, video recording and pictures below.
Thank you ORCA Media for covering this important day.
"Thank you for doing this. We cannot forget."
"I have cared for 6 out of 9 people who have died from COVID-19 in Caledonia County. I hold each one in my heart, and promise to tend their memories as I did my best to attend to their bodies."
"In memory of my aunt Elizabeth "Betty" Breunig who lived in Hanover, NH when she died of COVID."
"Healing & Peace for all of you that have lost loved ones!!!"
To all of you who were not able to say goodbye in person and or couldn't celebrate your loved ones life with family and friends, I am profoundly sorry. I am here at the capitol to honor & celebrate your loved ones."
"David Oliver, my dad. We love and miss you. I know in your way you let me know you are still with me. I love and miss you."
"Lifting in Prayer All Those Who Have Died in the World."
"In memory of my mom Sandy Wooster. She is missed and love so much."
"For those who died and those who live with the loss."
"It is so important we not forget and I so appreciate your bringing us all together to remember."
"David Oliver of S. Hero, VT was the love of my life who died of COVID in Bradenton, FL on Aug. 4th 2020. He was born in Burlington on Nov. 28th, 1943."
Father Julian Asucan from St. Augustine Catholic Church in Montpelier offering an opening prayer.
Lt. Governor Molly Gray
Vermont State Epidemiologist Dr. Patsy Kelso
Father Julian Asucan, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Montpelier
Rabbi Amy Small, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Burlington
Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre, on behalf of Vermont Islamic Center
Rev. Susie Webster-Toleno, Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Westminster West
Verdis Robinson, Unitarian Church of Montpelier
Adapted& used with permission: Marcia McFee ©www.worshipdesignstudio.com
Leader: We gather, mindful of the losses that have multiplied.
People: We mourn the loss of life.
Leader: We may be overwhelmed today by tragedies. Let us also be overwhelmed with the assurance that we are not alone.
People: We pray for comfort and peace.
Leader: For many, the pandemic has taken the security of food, shelter & income.
People: We pray for resources, for sustenance, and for resilience.
Leader: For many, this year has robbed us of energy, enthusiasm, and our sense of well-being. We honor and remember that each person is precious and whole.
People: We pray for recovery, compassion, and renewed vigor.
Leader: Our memorial candle reminds us of the light within each of us, perhaps dim for a time, but always lit–an ember of the Holy inside us.
People: The light reminds us that we are not alone.
Rev. Carl Hilton VanOsdall, First Presbyterian Church of Barre and Christ Church, Presbyterian, Burlington
“Meet Me Here” by Marcia McFee and Chuck Bell, used with permission.
Meet me here, meet me in my (* wandering),
Meet me here, deep within my soul.
* Time of loss *Grief and hurt *Wilderness *Memories *Wandering
Bell of Compassion - Buddhist minister Gary Keiser, Thosum Gephelling Inst.
Flower Wreaths: Emslie Florist, Barre
"All the Diamonds" by Bruce Cockburn
Rev. Carl Hilton VanOsdall
**We also acknowledge and honor the traditions of the Abenaki, the original citizens of our community.**
Join VIA's statewide effort of organizing for social change in our criminal justice system, fighting for racial justice, and pressing to eradicate homelessness and build more affordable housing.
From January to June, 2022, our VIA Local Organizing Ministries on the above-mentioned issues will be urging legislators to support certain bills, such as H406 Cultural and Economic Empowerment Centers for POC, H422 Decriminalize Personal Possession of Certain Drugs, and S210 Rental Registry and Inspection System. Contact Debbie at email@example.com to find out more.