The Mourning Project is a nationwide, interfaith series of four weekly vigils in October. The goal is to mourn the 180,000+ dead, and all the other losses of the unconstrained pandemic: unsafe schools, unsafe workplaces, unemployment. By gathering, we reclaim our unity and our commitment to peaceful elections, and defuse the rising risk of violence.

These peaceful, candlelight vigils are to be led by faith and healthcare leaders. They are to be held outdoors with mandatory social distancing and masks. Others may join safely in parked cars, by bike at the site, or from home via social media.

The color purple, a traditional sign of mourning and the composite of red and blue, is our signature. We hope that the vigils’ calls for unity will be broadcast live over social media and through other channels.

The Mourning Project vigils are designed with input from faith leaders and medical experts.  Both agree that bringing people together to grieve at this precise time of loss and darkness is exactly what is needed.  The nexus of our shared values rests in the spaces of mourning, unity, wholeness, oneness and health.

To paraphrase Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann: Things are not right but they could be. God must bring forth justice so that we are not lost. Faith cries to God for swift action. Join the national time of lament. Together let us cry for the justice and wellbeing God intends in our world.

Columbia Friends Meeting has decided to participate in The Mourning Project, a national effort to recognize all the deaths from Covid, in the way of Friends, through silence and without additional adornment. Those Friends who are interested may join in Meeting for Worship at 7:00 pm on the 19th of October, by zoom.