-A Service Rooted in the Sikh Tradition-
Last night, hundreds of people of the city of Boston and greater Massachusetts gathered at Trinity Church in Copley Square to show support to the Sikh community and learn more about their religion.
I went on a whim. I have an urge to learn that has never been sated and I was aware of my ignorance about the Sikh community. I read the article in the Boston Globe that my old college roommate provided about the service and decided that I wanted to pray together in Trinity Church and show my support. Obvious point: No one should ever be attacked for religious or cultural differences.
Jeannie and I got there a few minutes early and sat close to the front near an American Sikh who was learning more about her community and a young family. We were a sea of scarves.
Those who didn’t already have them were given scarves to wear for the service as a sign of respect to the members of the Sikh faith, who wear them as a humbling before God. The borrowed scarves were neon orange so you could really see how many people came out that were of other faiths.
The capacity of the Trinity Church is 1500 people and an estimated 1400 were in attendance. They ran out of scarves and started giving napkins to people who wanted to show their respect. I was glad I had hastily bought a scarf before attending, although it was not made for being worn on your head and was stiflingly hot. I was nervous about accidentally being disrespectful by not wearing it correctly, but no one seemed to mind. As I said before, people were wearing napkins.
The service was as much of a learning experience as a religious one. It was set up so that one speaker from each of the larger faiths in the city of Boston spoke about the tragedy of August 5th and about learning more about each other rather than living in ignorance. In between there were traditional Sikh songs and prayers. Even the children sang along. Continue reading