The Office of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life hosted a vigil on Wednesday afternoon for those affected by the explosions during the Boston Marathon earlier this week.
Campus ministers and religious advisors helped organize an interfaith service for the somber event.
The small crowd of students who attended the event at Asbury Circle from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. cut construction paper outlines of their feet and wrote messages of grief and comfort on them, such as “Tears, sadness and love to you each” and “Chin up, Boston.”
The messages will be sent to Boston University (Mass.) to use for its prayer services.
“The purpose is to give the Emory community the opportunity to reflect and express their own prayers and feelings around the explosions in Boston on Monday,” said Lisa Garvin, the associate dean of the chapel and religious life.
For some students, the event represented an act of solidarity toward those affected by the recent, horrible tragedy.
“I know this has affected everyone deeply, even though we don’t know any of those people affected personally,” College freshman Hattie Yu said. “How popular this event is already – I think it means a lot,” referring to the crowd of student participants at the beginning of the event.
Emory students from the Boston area stopped by the table to write their own words of comfort.
“It’s nice to see how people all over the country and the world are thinking about Boston,” College freshman and Boston native Adam Goldstein said. “In the same way that the tragedy strikes so close to home for people from Boston, so do the acts of empathy and sympathy from the community.”
The prayer portion of the event, which began at noon, included prayers from five different religious faiths: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
Five students from each of these faiths recited the prayers.
“We pray for those who witnessed unspeakable horror, for innocent bystanders, for the first responders, police, nurses, doctors and all who were shaken to the core,” College freshman Laila Atalla said during the Christian prayer.
In addition, the Buddhist prayer was recited by two Tibetan monks, Ngawang Norbu and Lodoe Sangpo, the Jewish prayer was recited by College senior Michal David, the Muslim prayer was recited by College senior Rami Tabbaa and the Hindu prayer by College senior Anand Deshpande.
– By Rupsha Basu
Photo by James Crissman