BOSTON (AP) - Four glowing white pillar candles
illuminated photographs of the people killed in bombing-connected
violence in the Boston area last week as the city sought comfort in
religious services on the first Sunday after the blasts plunged the
community into days of chaos.
The photographs showing the faces of 8-year-old
Martin Richard, 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and
26-year-old Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, were propped up on the altar at Boston's
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, where Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean Patrick
O'Malley spoke about the city's pain and looked ahead to its spiritual
"Everyone has been profoundly affected by this
wanton violence and destruction inflicted upon our community by two
young men unknown to all of us," said O'Malley, speaking to a crowd of
mourners that included Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who sat
in the front row of the cavernous cathedral with other elected
officials. "It's very difficult to understand what was going on in their
heads. What demons were operating, what ideologies or politics, or the
perversions of their religion."
Two Muslim brothers from Russia, 19-year-old
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, are suspected
in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Their motive remains unclear. The
older brother was killed during a getaway attempt, while the younger
brother was captured Friday night after a gunfight with police and
remains in a hospital.
Along the barricade that has become a shrine near
the marathon finish line, hundreds of people sang hymns and prayed
beneath a brilliant blue sky.
"Guide my feet while I run this race," they sang.
Bouquets of flowers, small white crosses and
American flags are piled at the makeshift memorial, where people have
been gathering to pay their respects ever since the explosions.
Susan Ackley, a priest at the Emmanuel Episcopal
Church a few blocks from the blast site, said religious leaders had
visited the area "to clear the air and to bless it." She encouraged
people to forgive the perpetrators, noting that her congregation had
prayed for the suspect who had been killed and the other who remains in
"Instantaneous forgiveness, I think, is
impossible," she said. "That's not what needs to happen. But I think it
is the role of the churches and the synagogues to try to hold this
community of human beings together."
O'Malley echoed that sentiment, exhorting the
congregation to keep the spirit of community generosity alive - and to
spread love, not hate.
"We must be people of reconciliation, not revenge,"
he said. "The crimes of two young men must not be the justification for
prejudice against Muslims or against immigrants."
Kelly McKernan, who lives just a few blocks from
the bombing site, was crying as she stood outside the cathedral, where
people were hugging on the sidewalk.
"I hope we can all heal and move forward," she said. "And obviously, the Mass today was a first step for us in that direction."
Because it is located within the bombing crime
scene, Boston's historic Trinity Episcopal Church could not host
services on Sunday. But the congregation was invited by Temple Israel to
worship at their synagogue instead.
The FBI allowed church officials to enter the darkened church Saturday to gather the priests' robes and the wine and bread.
The temple isn't far from the hospital where the younger bombing suspect was being treated.
At least one man wore his blue Boston Marathon jacket with its gold unicorn symbol embroidered on the back.
"It's just really great to have a space that's safe
and open and there's light," said Jonathan Ralton, who was volunteering
handing out medals and Mylar capes after runners crossed the finish
line last week. "You know, God is here. God is with us, wherever we
gather. And so I'm just grateful that we have a place to gather and can
At the synagogue, Trinity's Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd
III offered a prayer for "those who must rebuild their lives without the
legs that they ran and walked on last week."
"So where is God when the terrorists do their
work?" Lloyd asked. "God is there, holding us and sustaining us. God is
in the pain the victims are suffering, and the healing that will go on.
God is with us as we try still to build a just world: a world where
there will not be terrorists doing their terrible damage."
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