In Wake of George Floyd’s Death, Vigils Allow for Healing and Unity

Tags: Currents Crux, Faith, George Floyd, Inspiration, Media, World News

By Jessica Easthope

The death of George Floyd struck a chord within the hearts of millions around the world. Amidst the ongoing protests, dozens of vigils are being held in cities across the U.S. demonstrating the power of prayer.

“There’s a window and we need to take advantage of that so the killings, just like Mr. Floyd’s, those come to an end and they become an anomaly, and they never happen again,” said Kojo Addo, organizer of the Minneapolis vigil.

The vigils celebrated the lives of Floyd along with Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Taylor was killed by police in March after plain-clothes officers entered her apartment on a ‘no-knock’ warrant. On June 5, she would have turned 27.

A common theme throughout the vigils was a moment of silence, lasting eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time ex-police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck during his arrest.

“We are George Floyd, we are taking on that moment with him,” said Lekie Dwanyen, who participated in the moment of silence at a vigil in Minneapolis.

DeSaeles Media, Currents News’ parent company also held a vigil this weekend, led by Father John Gribowich.

“This is clearly a burst of hope right now, because we can see the great power of this man’s horrible death and how it’s transforming, essentially, the world,” Fr. John said.

He also said moments of silence are key to understanding the work that needs to be done.

“I think that if we’re able to understand what that time means, it’s a way for us to be in better communion with that individual death of a man and also hopefully allow us to be motivated to be people of action,” he explained.

Unlike protests or marches, vigils allow participants to heal in a unique way by coming together in prayer.

“I think it just brought this emotion and reality to the surface, so it really takes when an injustice is done to one member of the body for the rest of the body to run to healing,” Fr. John said.

George Floyd will be buried next to his mother on Tuesday.