Provincetown Community Compact

Nurturing Community

Prayer Ribbons blowing in the wind

Prayer Ribbons 2023

The City of Orlando invites the Provincetown Community Compact to return to the commemoration of the Pulse nightclub massacre on June 12; a special strand of Prayer Ribbons will be installed at Orlando City Hall

May 30, 2023

Contact: Jay Critchley,
Provincetown Community Compact

The City of Orlando has invited the Provincetown Community Compact to the commemoration of the Pulse nightclub massacre to install a special strand of Prayer Ribbons outside Orlando City Hall. The seventh anniversary is June 12, 2023. Compact director Jay Critchley will bring the ribbons to Orlando and speak at the ceremony on Friday, June 9, 2023.

In the invitation to The Compact, the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer writes: “The Prayer Ribbons were another reminder for our residents that communities around the nation were standing with us during a difficult time. Having the Prayer Ribbons return to Orlando would help our city continue the healing process and provide another way to celebrate the unity of our community and inclusive communities like Provincetown.”

With the horrific killing of 49 people at Pulse nightclub, The Compact felt a kinship with the city of Orlando and an urgency to respond to such unimaginable violence against the LGBTQ community. At a special ceremony at Provincetown Town Hall to honor the victims, each person’s name was inscribed in gold on black ribbons and then attached to a strand of colored ribbons. An additional ribbon was dedicated to those injured. Each name was read aloud by a different member of the community.

In November of 2016, The Compact was invited by Frank Billingsley, Chief of Staff to Mayor Dyer to bring this strand to share with the city of Orlando. We were honored to install it at beautiful Leu Gardens and meet privately with the families of the victims. The ribbons were then on view outside Orlando City Hall.

Prayer Ribbons were initiated in 1993 at the Provincetown Swim for Life to provide a visual witness to the swimmers as they crossed the Provincetown Harbor from Long Point to the Boatslip, each swimmer with his or her own personal images, hopes and fears. All are invited to inscribe the names of those they love on one of the five-foot long colored ribbons – and personal messages – to those they wish to celebrate in their lives, both living and deceased.

Prayer Ribbons commemorates the devastation that AIDS has done to the community, the courage of the town to fight governmental indifference, and to symbolize the model supportive community that responded. Prayer Ribbons also challenges us to live our lives more fully and joyfully. It creates a visual statement about Provincetown as a community – its contradictions, its conflicts, its possibilities.

The 36st Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact will take place September 9, 2023.