Bowing her head in prayer, a schoolteacher thought of each of her young students during a solemn Oklahoma City prayer vigil Monday.
Sharon Stewart, of Choctaw, said she envisioned the small faces of her prekindergarten pupils as 28 candles were lit and a gong was sounded 28 times at the prayer vigil at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 127 NW 7.
“I pictured each one of my kids,” she said.
Stewart, a teacher at Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village, was among about 75 people who attended the prayer gathering.
Twenty-six people — 20 of them children — were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. The perpetrator — a lone gunman — committed suicide, and police have said he killed his mother before his shooting rampage at the school. The candles and gong-ringing at the Oklahoma City prayer vigil represented the 28 people who died that day.
In his homily, the Rev. Justin Lindstrom, dean of St. Paul's, said the Newtown shootings seemed to shatter the joy and anticipation that typifies the liturgical season of Advent. Lindstrom said Oklahoma City knows how much one terrible act can change many lives.
“We as a city in Oklahoma City know far too well what it is like to have lives taken from us in one single horrific act ... and we can say that was not God's will,” he said, referring to the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.