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Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:06 PM


Christian hymns, Jewish music, Muslim prayers, Sikh and Buddhist chants and atheist greetings

Photos of all of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims were place on the altar during the service. AJC photo: Curtis Compton

June 15, 2016
Jennifer Brett

ORLANDO — The bell tolled. It tolled and tolled and tolled.

The only other sounds in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church of Orlando on Tuesday night were muffled tears as photos of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims were placed on boards along the altar.

“We mourn those vibrant young lives, full of joy and promise, cut short and extinguished in one violent act fueled by anger and ignorance,” said Claudia Schippert, abbot of the Orlando Zen Center. “We mourn the loss of life and we hope queer love and all love can transcend the hell that hatred can produce.”

She was one of many speakers at a well-attended interfaith service of prayer and compassion at the downtown church across the street from the arts center where thousands had gathered the night before for a community vigil. The evening featured a Muslim prayer for peace, Buddhist and Sikh chant, Baha’i, Unitarian and Hindu prayers, Jewish musical meditation, Christian hymns and Humanist greetings.


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