Prayers for Orlando in Washougal; St. Anne’s Episcopal Church mourned shooting victims in a vigil

WASHOUGAL — The Rev. Eliacin Rosario-Cruz and Holly Puckett stood before the pews and read through the list of names. For each one, a note sounded.

Forty-nine notes for the 49 people murdered Saturday night at an Orlando nightclub. Rosario-Cruz and Puckett gave their ages, too; most of those killed were in their 20s or 30s.

Before the Wednesday evening service at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jessie Smith said she had been overwhelmed with emotion after what happened.

“The only thing I think I really know how to do right now is to pray. So I thought others might want to join me,” she said. “I know this community — it’s important for us to gather in times like this.”

About 30 people filed into the church for the vigil. They prayed and sang along with John Lennon’s “Imagine” and the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”

There’s little anyone can say or do to address the grief right now, Smith said at the start of the service, but to pray and be together in solidarity is a start.

“I welcome your prayers as a stand against violence as an expression of religion,” she said. “We’re here because we know with every fiber of our being that what has happened is wrong, that there’s something very broken, that there’s evil at work in the world, and that grief and rage that wells up within us — that’s the goodness speaking out.”

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