SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A church in Springfield held a special service Tuesday, in remembrance of the homeless who have lost their lives this year.
The service at Christ Church Cathedral was part of a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the tragedy of homelessness. More than a dozen people participated in the service, which included poetry readings, hymns, and prayer.
The names of homeless people who died in the city of Springfield over the past year were read aloud, as a way to remember those who had no friends or family to mourn their passing. Priest Tom Callard said that the church has been holding the service annually for around eight years.
“It started partially in response to a gentleman who froze to death right here in the city, and they decided: ‘well, we really need to acknowledge him, and give thanks to God for his life, since perhaps no one else will do that.,’” Callard said.
The lives of more than two dozen homeless people were remembered at Tuesday’s service. The church said that attendance at the service has continued to grow over the years, and that it is a way to remember those who society has completely forgotten.
Tuesday’s service was part of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, which is marked annually on the longest night of the year.