Seattle AIDS Memorial Announced

Free Multi-Faith Event Commemorates 30 Years of Sorrow, Comfort and Hope

Sep 15, 2011, 12:00 ET from Saint Mark's Cathedral

SEATTLE, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Saint Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill will host the Seattle AIDS Memorial on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. Subtitled "30 Years of Sorrow, Comfort and Hope," the memorial commemorates the 30th anniversary of the first HIV/AIDS diagnosis as well as the 25th anniversary of the first AIDS Walk in Seattle. The event, which is free and open to all, offers a multi-faith observance through readings and song.

"We want to pause and reflect on this milestone," said the Reverend Rebecca McClain, Canon Missioner at Saint Mark's Cathedral, "and do so in a way that observes but also transcends our shared grief and individual losses."  Describing the multi-faith nature of the observance, she explained, "It's a testament to the journey that communities of faith have made on HIV/AIDS issues that so many representatives of religious traditions and denominations can come together in support of the Seattle AIDS Memorial."

Specifically, the Seattle AIDS Memorial will feature sacred readings from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist traditions along with selections of contemporary poetry and a time of candlelight remembrance, according to the Reverend Earl Grout, Deacon at Saint Mark's Cathedral. Detailing the featured artists at the event, Deacon Grout said, "We are thrilled to include the Seattle Choral Company, our region's leading symphonic chorus with over 100 volunteer singers, numerous professional instrumentalists and distinguished performing artists from around the Pacific Northwest." He continued, "We're also delighted to include Dr. Melvin Butler, director of music at Saint Mark's Cathedral, on solo viola and coloratura soprano Lynne Markova, who will perform the Adagio by Thomas Albinoni."

With a program structured into three movements (sorrow/mourning, solace/comfort and hope) punctuated by candle lighting, the diverse readings will incorporate Rumi, W.H. Auden, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mary Oliver and selections from Angels in America.

Participant Profile: Seattle Choral Company

One major participant in the Seattle AIDS Memorial's program is the Seattle Choral Company, regarded as the Pacific Northwest's leading symphonic chorus and renowned for diverse and engaging choral experiences. Founding conductor and artistic director Freddie Coleman noted, "When we heard that the Seattle AIDS Memorial would offer solace through song as well as readings, the Seattle Choral Company had to be part of the program. Nurturing community through music is central to who we are."

Charitable Recipients: Lifelong AIDS Alliance and Rosehedge/Multifaith Works

The Seattle AIDS Memorial also affords attendees the opportunity to make a contribution of any size, if they so choose, to support two well-regarded local HIV/AIDS organizations. Lifelong AIDS Alliance is committed to preventing the spread of HIV, and to providing practical support services and advocating for those whose lives are affected by HIV and AIDS. Rosehedge/Multifaith Works serves vulnerable men and women living with HIV/AIDS by providing housing, compassionate health care and supportive services that enhance the quality of their lives, and additionally unites communities of compassionate care and inclusive spirituality with people living in isolation and loneliness.

Lifelong AIDS Alliance's chief executive officer Randall Russell commented, "The Seattle AIDS Memorial brings to a close an important day for everyone concerned about HIV/AIDS in our community.   Earlier that day, thousands of fundraisers will turn out for the 25th Anniversary Seattle AIDS Walk.  The Walk is by design a joyous and empowering event.  The Memorial reminds us that too many have already had their own journey cut short and that thousands more in our own community remain at risk."

Rosehedge/Multifaith Works' interim executive director James Marshall-Ward also commented, "Rosehedge/Multifaith Works believes in the power of an inclusive, faith-inspired approach to healing, and we are very proud to be connected to the Seattle AIDS Memorial's speakers' and musicians' community of caring."

Event At-A-Glance

  • Seattle AIDS Memorial – 30 Years of Sorrow, Comfort and Hope
  • A Multi-faith Observance in Readings and Song
  • Saturday, September 24, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saint Mark's Cathedral
  • 1245 Tenth Avenue East, Seattle, WA  98102
  • or (206) 323-0300

About Saint Mark's

Saint Mark's is the Cathedral church for the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and the seat of its Bishop, the Right Reverend Gregory Rickel.  Saint Mark's is also a parish church, home to Christians who seek to practice open hospitality, extending a welcome to all.  A prominent landmark in Seattle for decades, it serves as a Commons where issues of justice and faith are explored.  Saint Mark's is the home of great liturgical music including the ancient service of Compline, which every Sunday evening provides a time of spiritual reflection for the hundreds who gather at the Cathedral and the thousands more who listen on Classic King FM.

SOURCE Saint Mark's Cathedral