Delaware Valley honors Orlando shooting victims with special mass, ceremony

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Across the Delaware Valley people took time to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting Sunday.

There were several events including a special mass inside the Cathedral Basicilla of Saint's Peter & Paul.

Forty-nine candles inside the church served as symbols for the 49 shooting victims, including Philadelphia native, Akyra Murray.

"I thought it was an appropriate symbol for what was going on in Orlando," said Steve Harmon of Dallas.

"I don't know how else we can cope and deal with something that's so senseless and tragic unless we can find a message of hope and healing in the Lord," said the Rev. G. Dennis Gill, Rector.

Sunday's mass dedicated to the slain wasn't about politics, just innocent people.

"It's wonderful and shows a sense of unity, a more openness," said Wande Morris of Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Earlier in the day, members of P3 Transformation Church - one of Philadelphia's largest LGBTQ congregations - gathered to remember those slain.

"The balloons represent the LGBT rainbow, the colors, and the lives of those that have transitioned and gone on to be with the Lord in Heaven," said Pastor Romaine Gibbs.

"I believe it is the most beautiful thing that could possibly happen," said Lynda Harris of Olney. "It's unity, it's showing that we all care for each other."

"It's unsettling to think of it. It upsets me a little bit," said Veronica Miller of East Oak Lane. "To think that just congregating together, at any moment, at any time, someone could come by and take your life."

Different places of worship with the same message.

"It doesn't matter if 50 black people die, 50 white people, 50 LGBTQ people," said Patty Callahan of Lansdale. "People died. It doesn't matter who they are."
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