Seattle vigil honors victims of Orlando mass shooting

More than 500 persons took part in a June 15 candlelight prayer vigil and procession from Seattle's St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral to St. James Catholic Cathedral. (Photo courtesy St. James Cathedral)
This article appears in the Orlando shooting feature series. View the full series.

More than 500 persons gathered the evening of June 15 at Seattle's St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral for prayer and reflection on the recent mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, later processing to St. James Catholic Cathedral "through the heart of that part of our city that has long been a home for our LGBT sisters and brothers," in the words of Fr. Michael Ryan, St. James pastor.

In addition to Ryan, speakers included Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple de Hirsch Sinai, and Rev. Steven Thomason, dean of St. Mark's.

"It was quite a powerful event," Ryan said, noting that there was "significant Jewish and Muslim participation as well."

"In a very dark and painful moment, we could find no better way to make a statement of solidarity with these sisters and brothers; and no better way to express our oneness across the diversity of our religious beliefs; and no better way to call the wider community to prayer in the face of an appalling act of hatred; and no better way, either, to elevate, once again, before our community the issue of gun violence and gun control -- to express our ongoing commitment to the issue and our outrage at the tactics of those who are consistently and cynically bent on blocking reform of any kind," Ryan told those gathered.

At least 50 people were killed and at least 50 others were wounded early June 12 at the nightclub, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to the Associated Press.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR's West Coast correspondent. His email is]

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