As widely reported in the media on Friday, December 14, 2012, twenty-six individuals—twenty of whom were elementary school children—perished at Sandy Hook School, Newtown, Connecticut, when a lone 20-year-old gunman entered the school and opened fire on students and faculty alike.
Upon learning of the tragedy, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, released the following letter to the faithful on behalf of the entire Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America.
His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek (the bishop who oversees Holy Trinity) added his personal condolences in the midst of this scene of horror. He called upon the parishes in the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania to offer extra prayers for those who have lost their lives and for the “weeping and the grieving” left behind now facing the daunting task of going on with their lives.
Holy Trinity will conduct a memorial service for all those slain in this massacre following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, December 16. During the liturgy itself, our community will also offer special petitions on behalf and for all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.
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