NEWTOWN, Conn. —
A vigil Friday night for the victims of a school massacre in western Connecticut brought out hundreds of community members, including some parents
who were struggling with mixed emotions after their own children survived the rampage.
With the church filled to capacity, hundreds spilled outside, some of them holding hands in circles and saying prayers. Others lit prayer candles and sang "Silent Night."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was among the speakers at the service inside the St. Rose of Lima
Roman Catholic church.
"Many of us today and in the coming days will rely on what we have been taught and what we believe, that there is faith for a reason," Malloy said.
The residents were gathered to mourn those killed Friday, when a man killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the elementary school
where she taught, massacring 26 people, including 20 children, as youngsters cowered in fear to the sound of gunshots reverberating through the building and screams echoing over the intercom.
The 20-year-old killer, carrying at least two handguns, committed suicide at the school, bringing the death toll to 28, authorities said.
At the vigil, the priest said the altar holds 26 candles, all of which were lit in memory of the victims. Lyrics of the last hymn of the ceremony rang out: "I will raise him up on eagle's wings."
The parish priest, Robert Weiss, said he spent much of Friday with victims of the families but he could not give them any answers about what happened.
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~*`ANGELIC MELODIES OF LOVE`*~
(Dedicated to the school children,
all innocent victims and all who are touched
by the recent shooting spree in Friday's massacre
at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
May God grant them peace and forever comfort
within His Merciful Bosom!
OLD MELODIES RING OUT IN THE SKY
ANGELIC ANGELS ARE SINGING ON HIGH
PEACE ON EARTH ~ GOOD WILL TO ALL
STAND FAST TOGETHER BEFORE WE FALL..
SPREAD GOODWILL WITHIN THE WORLD
LOVE THY NEIGHBORS WE'VE BEEN TOLD
IF YOU SMILE AND SHAKE ONE'S HAND
PEACE WILL SIFT THROUGHOUT THE LAND..
SING OLD MELODIES OF LONG AGO
IT WILL RING OUT WHERE WINDS BLOW
LET ALL MEN HEAR IT FAR AND WIDE
BRINGING PEACE TO FOREVER ABIDE..