The Crusader Newspaper Group

South Shore church to burn 177 candles at vigil for every COVID-19 victim in neighborhood

The memory and lives of 177 South Shore residents who died of COVID-19 will be remembered and honored during a special “Pass the Peace” service at Bryn Mawr Community Church in South Shore at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 28. Candles representing each of the 177 lives lost to COVID-19 will illuminate the sanctuary in a moving ceremony that will bring South Shore residents together for a community service offering comfort, healing and hope. The service will have COVID-19 protocols in place, including social distancing, face masks and hand sanitizers. Community organizations have been invited to participate in lighting the candles.

The service will begin with soft music as candles are lit under the vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows of this historic community church. As the lights dim and a sea of candles flicker, hymns will fill the sanctuary and words of comfort and hope will be expressed to those who lost loved ones to COVID-19.

They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors. As the virus spread to homes and businesses, many of them were never given a proper funeral that honors their life. In their final days on earth, they suffered alone while their loved ones suffered, too. As many residents in Chicago move on with their lives and holiday celebrations, many residents in South Shore who lost loved ones to COVID-19 are struggling to regain the spirit and hope they once had. Bryn Mawr Community Church aims to keep their memory alive and reminds those they left behind that their loved ones will not be forgotten during this busy holiday season.

Since the pandemic in Chicago began in March 2020, South Shore has been among the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods. Last week, three more people died of the disease, a grim reminder that the pandemic is not over as cases remain on the rise while many gather indoors as temperatures drop.

Bryn Mawr Community church is located at 7000 S. Jeffrey Blvd. in the South Shore neighborhood.

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