Lantern Ceremony

Old North Church commemorates the hanging of the
Signal Lanterns in April of 1775.

by Debbi Collar

Patriots who took part in the American Revolution would
be proud to see the pageantry that now surrounds their
efforts in leading the colonies to freedom. The Old North
Church (Christ Church) commemorates the efforts of
Robert Newman and Captain John Pulling as they hung the
signal lanterns in the steeple of the church to warn of the
movements of the British troops in April of 1775.  

Procession at the Old North Church

Two-hundred forty years later, the Old North Church
continues to hold its annual "Lantern Ceremony." A
program highlighting the events of the evening states,"the
ceremony honors both the Revolutionary heroes who lit the
way for American Independence and the modern day
citizens who continue to do what is right to help people in
need and to risks in to ensure our many freedoms."

"Compassion and Care" was the theme of this
year's ceremony.
Partners in health clinicians who volunteered their time
and expertise to help those effected by the Ebola Virus in
West Africa received the accolades. Honorary Lantern
included Jessica Hurst Bender,MD, Gayle Rebovich,
MD,Sarah Richards, RN, Patricia Ruze, MD and  Nancy Todd,

Sitting in the balcony one level up from the entrance, one
can not imagine what it must have been like in 1775 to run
u[ eight stories to the belfry of the steeple with its winding staircases and ladders to hang those signal lanterns. Reading excerpts from a letter, written by Paul Revere to an American clergyman and historian of that time period, Jeremy Belknap. was Boston National Park Acting Superintendent Rosalyn Fennell. Later in the ceremony, another reading. This time the reading was of the poem made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-Paul Revere's Ride. It was read by Francisco Urena and Jennifer Siegler, Secretary, Massachusetts Department of Veteran's Services. Following the red bricks of Boston's Freedom Trail while in the City leads to many historic attractions, one of those being the Old North Church. On this night, a crowd gathers outside to watch the Fife and Drum Corps and a variety of uniformed militia from the days of 1775 to those in modern day ceremonial garb. Inside the Old North Church Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Libor Dudas performs, as does the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, directed by Mark Langdon.

Playing the Pipe Organ at the Old North Church during
The Lantern Lighting Ceremony

1st MIchigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps

Old North Church Chamber Choir

Prominent politicians were also on hand. Mayor Martin
Walsh gave an opening address and Governor Charles Baker
was recognized in the audience. Other participants
included The USS Constitution Color Guard, the 1st
Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, Grand Lodge of
masons in Massachusetts,Ancient and Honorable Artillery
company, Massachusets National Lancers,Lexngton
Minutemen, Watertown Provincial Guard, Acton Minutemen
and the Wilmington Minutemen.

In what may be considered a bit of a twist in history,when
the inside ceremony was completed, attendees were
led out to the street where the amber glow of the lanterns
could be seen and the sound of hoofbeats heard as both
Paul Revere and William Dawes rode off together into the

The Lantern Ceremony is definitely worth the ticket when
visiting Boston in mid April. Next year's event will take
place on sunday, April 17th.

**For more information on upcoming events at Old
North Church, visit their website, www.oldnorth.com

May 1, 2015

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