Buffalo, NY – Westminster Presbyterian Church, in collaboration with the Greater Buffalo Friends of Music and St. Joseph Cathedral, will host a memorial service on Friday, November 2, at 7:30 PM to honor deceased homeless citizens who lived in Buffalo. The Salvation Army and other organizations that serve the homeless will offer prayers during the service. Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 724 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY.
“We have joined with community leaders who serve the homeless to offer this special service to make sure their lives are honored – even in death,” said Garrett Martin, Organist and Choirmaster at Westminster Presbyterian Church. “This inter-religious memorial service is intended to bring dignity to Buffalo’s homeless who may have never had a service to recognize their lives.”
“We are honored to be a part of this Requiem, providing dignity and closure to the homeless that have passed in our community,” said Major Steven Lopes, Director of Operations, Erie County, The Salvation Army.
The choirs will dedicate the Duruflé Requiem to Buffalo’s deceased homeless. The composer described in unpublished program notes for a 1980 concert that, “This Requiem is composed entirely on the Gregorian themes of the Mass for the Dead. It represents the idea of peace, of faith, and of hope.”
“The mission of the Greater Buffalo Friends of Music is to provide support for collaborative music making throughout the region,” say Joe Spino, Chairman of Greater Buffalo Friends of Music. “We are excited to bring these choirs together to perform this beautiful piece of music for a great cause.”
Martin adds, “Westminster and those who strive daily to serve the homeless are honored to remember these forgotten individuals with the grace and dignity they deserve in a service that is open to all.”
Homelessness is a persistent problem and one of the most difficult challenges faced by residents of Western New York. More than 8,200 people are estimated to be currently without a home in 2017.
The Salvation Army is a faith-based organization that meets basic human needs without discrimination. Many clients come for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. The Homeless Family Shelter provides a unique service to the homeless, helping to keep families together while connecting them to other programs and services they may need.
The Greater Buffalo Friends of Music was founded to foster an appreciation of sacred and other music within the Western New York community and to sponsor programs designed to further music appreciation and understanding both locally and in the wider community through exchange and collaborative programming.
The service is free. Donations will be encouraged and accepted to benefit homeless services in Buffalo. A free catered reception will follow the service.