Hundreds Attend 1st Funerals for Church Shooting Victims
A choir and band launched into one of Ethel Lance’s favorite gospel tunes and roused hundreds of mourners from their seats Thursday in a crescendo of music at the first funeral for victims of the massacre at a historic black church.
People stood to clap, nod and sway — some closing their eyes under the exertion of the cathartic singing. Ushers walked through the aisles with boxes of tissues for people to dab their tears. An organ, drums and bass guitar provided the rhythm.
The service was fitting for the 70-year-old Charleston native with “an infectious smile,” who served with vigor as an officer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the congregation’s interim pastor said.