MERIDEN — City religious leaders are inviting the public to attend a Sunday memorial service to commemorate the lives of loved ones lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Center Congregational Church, at 474 Broad St., will host the 2 p.m. event, which will include speakers and live music. Speakers will include Mayor Kevin Scarpati, Health & Human Services Director Lea Crown and others. Rev. Connor Filkins, pastor at Center Congregational, and the Meriden Clergy Association are organizing the service.
Filkins said a temporary memorial will be installed as part of the service. The display will include a large heart and 167 white flags, which will be planted in the church’s side lawn to represent the city residents who have died as a result of the pandemic.
“This has kind of been a long time coming,” Filkins said, explaining that he originally conceived the memorial last April, around the time when his church began to resume in-person gatherings.
Doreen Bottone, the chaplain at MidState Medical Center, said Filkins approached her last spring with the idea for the service.
“I thought it was a very good one,” Bottone said. “There’s been a lot of grieving that people have been doing, and it’s been very difficult due to the circumstances of the pandemic.”
Bottone said the grieving process had been complicated by the pandemic and the restrictions that had been imposed.
“Each number is a human life with a story of relationships and experiences,” Bottone said. “They leave behind a legacy as well as their loved ones.”