Vigils

#StandingInLove vigil held on MemChurch porch steps June 14, 2016

Vigil request for Harvard Students

Creating a vigil space may be a meaningful way for the Harvard community to gather intentionally to mourn and/or to respond to an event.

Harvard students are invited to complete this vigil request form, which will initiate the process of organizing a vigil space. Upon completing this form, a designated MemChurch staff member will review your request and update you on the status of your request.

Please designate a single student to be the primary point-of-contact for this request.

REQUEST A VIGIL ➣

Student Vigil Request Procedure FAQs

Q: Who will respond to my vigil request?

A: A staff member from Memorial Church will connect with the student point-of-contact indicated on the request form. This staff member will liaise with other members of the University community in order to process the request.

Q: Where and when can I hold a vigil?

A: Vigils can be held in the Yard as long as they are not disruptive to the University community (e.g. during class times, exam period, or late at night). The Memorial Church may be an appropriate location for a vigil. If you prefer another location, the Memorial Church staff and/or the Chaplains can help make arrangements. Memorial Church and/or the Chaplains Office staff will work with you to find a suitable time and location.

Q: Do you have resources and/or equipment available?

A: Yes. If the request is approved, the Memorial Church can provide a microphone and speakers to aid with the vigil's audio accessibility. Volume should not exceed (75dB) decibels during the service. Candles, notecards, pens, tissues are also available. Staff from the Memorial Church and the Chaplains Office are happy to provide a sample vigil outline and/or speak with you about the content of the vigil.

Q: What is a typical length for a vigil?

A: This depends on the needs of your community, but typically about 20-30 minutes works well.

Q: Can this form be used to request space for a protest or demonstration?

A: This form is designed to initiate a process for organizing vigil space for a community to gather intentionally, to mourn, and/or to mark an event. If you are looking to hold a larger-scale protest or demonstration, the Science Center Plaza may be the most appropriate location. Please contact Harvard Common Spaces to request at commonspaces@harvard.edu.

Q: Is there a fee associated with booking space for a vigil?

A: No, there is no fee associated with booking space for a vigil.

Q: Who communicates out about the program?

A: This depends on the needs of the requesting student community. MemChurch staff will support the student organizers in doing what makes sense for their needs.

Q: Is a vigil a religious service? Does the service have to be religious?

A: A vigil does not have to be religious. Staff will support students in organizing in a way that is sensitive to and suits their community’s needs.