SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A time honored tradition, a memorial service horning 47 of the homeless here in Western Massachusetts who died during the past year.

Here at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Springfield the names of the 47 homeless people who perished during the past year were read aloud. Episcopal Bishop Doug Fisher has presided over this solemn ceremony for many years

“This is the shortest day of the year, so that brings to mind the homeless. They have really long
nights out on the street. It’s also connected to the Christmas story, Mary and Joseph experienced homelessness,” Bishop Doug Fisher Christ Church Cathedral told 22News.

The service honoring the memory of the nearly fifty who died this past year is attended by members of Springfield churches who had cared for the welfare of those without their own home.

“I think it’s really vital to remember people living on the street who don’t necessarily have family, loved one’s to remember them,” Judith Macmum from Westfield said.

“At South Congregational Church we had a temporary shelter and we got close to some of the people here, but our hearts go out to those who are still on the street,” Elliot Stratton from Springfield said.

On this day Western Massachusett’s forgotten people are remembered by a relative few at Christ Church Cathedral. 47 Individuals who did not survive the hardships-weather and other factors that befall the homeless men and women of this and many American communities..