Groups to meet, pray at Marathon barricade in Back Bay

Religious worshipers will gather at the corner of Boylston and Berkeley streets at 12:30 p.m. Sunday to pray, sing, and support victims of the Marathon bombings, an Old South Church minister said.

“We had very much hoped we were meeting at the finish line to reclaim it,” said The Rev. Nancy S. Taylor, senior minister and chief executive of Old South Church in Boston, which is part of the barricaded active crime scene. “We’ll be standing in solidarity with the victims of the bombing who are still very grievously injured.”

Attendees will include worshipers from Trinity Church, Temple Emanuel, Arlington Street Church, Church of the Covenant, Central Reform Temple, Old South Church in Boston, the Community Church of Boston, The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, the First Baptist Church of Boston, the First Church in Boston, and others.


Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will say an 11:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross “for the repose of the souls” of those who have died in the Marathon bombings.

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The cardinal will also offer prayers for those who were injured in the bombing and for “the brave men and women who saved countless lives as first responders.”

The cathedral was the site of an interfaith service President Obama, Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and other officials attended earlier this week.

“In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ,” O’Malley said in a statement.

Taylor said she is in in contact with city officials to see when the area around the finish line will reopen. But Boylston Street is an active crime scene, and she does not know when the barricades will be cleared.


“They haven’t cleaned up the trash in there, they haven’t taken down the fencing or the media bridge,” she said. “They have a lot of work to do.”

Old South Church members will worship at the Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street, just blocks away from the active crime scene, Taylor said.

Trinity Church, also part of the active crime scene, is moving services to Temple Israel of Boston on Longwood Avenue. Church officials are expecting 300-500 people to join the service, Patricia Hurley, the church’s director of communications, said in an email.

The last time Old South Church in Boston was closed for this long was in 1775, during the British siege of Boston, Taylor said.

“It’s not business as usual. Everybody is trying to adjust and adapt, and that’s a part,” she said. “I think we’re changed forever. I do. And there certainly are families that are changed forever. But we certainly will come to each other and continue to move forward.”

Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at