A prayer vigil was held in Brighton to honor and remember the victims and families of those who suffered in this week’s tragedy in Las Vegas.

Pastor Deon Johnson of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church said “we gather with heavy hearts,” as he began the vigil, Thursday night. He reflected on the victims, first responders, and “people who stepped forward to evil in the name of good” during the mass shooting that claimed more than 50 lives earlier this week. Pastor David Howell of St. Mary Magadalan Catholic Church spoke on how the sufferers were not alone, as God and we as a people were with them despite our physical distance. He spoke about how too common events like this have become in the United States, and how we can feel a sense of helplessness about it. He and Johnson both spoke about the risks of compassion fatigue.

Livingston County Democratic Party Chair Judy Daubenmier read a prayer for the victims, the living, and for lawmakers to begin taking gun violence more seriously. Reverend Yolanda Whiten said she had no words for the pain and the sadness that occurred, but the families all have their love and that people all over the world care. She urged the congregation to be the people that make a difference, and to be the ones that say something when no one else will.

Before the closing prayer to end the night, an Act of Remembrance was performed. For that act, the names of all the victims who lost their lives were read with an accompanying tolling of a bell. (MK)