Church bells rang in Boston Wednesday in honor of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
The Archdiocese of Boston joined the Archdiocese of New York, along with other cities invited to participate, to remember the more than 330,000 Americans who have died from the disease by ringing its bells at noon on Wednesday.
"We encourage the ringing of the bells to mourn the souls lost, to comfort the families and friends who grieve, and to move forward, together, in the hope of the blessings that await us in 2021," the Archdiocese of Boston had said in a statement.
Parishes were encouraged to post a video of their church bells ringing, using hashtags including #FarewellBells.
"Hard for anyone to walk in the shoes of someone who has had the disease or has lost someone but to know that we are in solidarity—that we are one body—I hope that brings comfort to people," said Susan Abbott of Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine.
In Massachusetts, the state has already surpassed the grim milestone of more than 12,000 lives lost while in Boston, the death toll topped 1,000 on Tuesday.
The sounds of the church bells are not just meant to mark the sadness but also the strenghth that many people are feeling.
"I think it's a wonderful gesture. Being a nurse in Boston I am impacted by it every day," said Linda Biles of Boston.
Bringing grieving communities together to pray for all that has been lost, but also for brighter days ahead, was the goal of the Wednesday's bell ringing.
"We all need to help each other. That's just the bottom line," said Carol Dockendorff of Boston. "For us, hope is one of the major virtues so I think we look forward to 2021 as a year of hope."