Old South Church unveils Paper Crane Project Easter Weekend

More than 2,000 paper cranes decorated the portico on Boylston Street at the Old South Church – a project long in the making to provide symbols of hope and peace that were created by members of the church and by other participates hailing from 14 different states.

The installation was dedicated to the more than 500,000 Americans lost to COVID-19 since last year.

Photos By Seth Daniel
The Paper Crane project at Old South Church in the Back Bay premiered on Easter Sunday last weekend and featured more than 2,000 hand-folded paper cranes in the portico of the church on Boylston Street. The cranes were made by members of the church and volunteers from 14 other states. The Church has dedicated the Paper Cranes to the 500,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19.

“As we open a new door as a country and move with hope towards making our community and world safe again both in health and in our government and leadership, we would like to fill our portico with paper cranes as symbols of peace, hope and our heart’s desire,” read a statement from the Church. “We are hosting an all church art project of making these cranes to hang in an art installation to be presented to the church and the community on Easter Sunday.”

The project was coordinated by Ralph Watson, of Old South, and included members of the Church and also other interested parties around the country. The project started in February with a goal of getting 500 cranes made, but it quickly ballooned and by Easter Sunday – there were more than 2,000 to hang in the portico.

Those from other states send notes of interest, and they were sent a packet with materials and instructions and instructed to mail them back to the church when finished.

Many did.

In addition to that, the Global Pandemic touchstone – which started at the Peace Abbey in Millis – made a stop in front of Old South Church and found a temporary home on the sidewalk in front of the paper crane project.

The Global Pandemics touchstone is carried on a carriage – which has hosted other touchstones in the past dedicated to People Love to Violence and People Lost to War. The Global Pandemics touchstone was dedicated in the fall of 2020 and was expected to travel around Massachusetts and beyond.

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