Matthew Shepard to be interred at Washington National Cathedral after public service

Episcopal News Service | 10/11/2018 | Staff
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[Episcopal News Service] Twenty years after the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard sparked national outrage, his ashes will be interred at Washington National Cathedral following a public service of remembrance.

The Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for Matthew Shepard on Oct. 26 will be led by Washington Bishop Marian Budde and retired New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop and an acquaintance of the Shepard family. Until now, Shepard’s parents had not settled on a final resting place for his remains out of concern the site would be vandalized. As they approached 20 years since their son’s death, Robinson helped the family make arrangements at Washington National Cathedral.

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The tragedy of Shepard’s death is still a call to the nation to reject bigotry and “instead embrace each of our neighbors for who they are,” the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, said in a news release. “The Shepard family has shown extraordinary courage and grace in keeping his spirit and memory alive, and the cathedral is honored and humbled to serve as his final resting place.”

Shepard, 21, was a student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie when a passerby found him beaten and tied to a fence in October 1998. He died later at a hospital. The crime ignited an outcry against the prevalence of anti-gay violence.

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His 1998 funeral was held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Casper, Wyoming, the...
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