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Lycoming College mourns loss, celebrates hope at COVID-19 service

Lycoming College students, faculty, and staff gathered socially-distanced inside a tent on the Fultz Quad Thursday evening to remember, acknowledge, and honor the sacrifice and loss the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the community and the world. The Service of Lament & Light was designed to help attendees reflect on the past year and look toward a positive future filled with hope.

Like every community across the country and around the world, members of Lycoming College have experienced loss, and as the 2020-21 academic year comes to a close, the service provided an opportunity for the campus to express its continued commitment to one another. The week prior to the event, students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to post messages of hope and remembrance to bulletin boards positioned throughout campus. The messages were then displayed at the service. Upon arrival at the event, attendees were able to light candles in memory of loved ones lost to the virus.

The non-denominational service reflected the diversity of the College’s student body and included poetry from different cultures, a scriptural reading, and words of reflection, as well as music selections performed by the Lycoming College Chamber Choir, all carefully chosen to remind attendees that while the end of the pandemic is near, the lessons and experiences will be carried with us for the rest of our lives.

“There was a true sense of belonging and support at tonight’s event,” said Susan Beery, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, who provided the welcome address for the service. “The service helped our community to mourn our losses of the past year, and provided some peace and healing. I’m truly proud to be a member of Lycoming College’s loving and supportive community.”

Since the College campus has been closed to visitors since the start of the pandemic, a livestream of the Service of Lament and Light was made available to the broader campus community. A recording of the event can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/O8WMcAFCV_0.

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