Vibrantly colored banners and echoes of prayers filled the Neighborhood Congregational Church on Wednesday with the arrival of Tibetan monks and the start of Tibet Cultural Week.
Many parishioners fell into a meditative state as the Gaden Jangtse Tsawa monks recited prayers and chants while seated cross-legged on the floor of the church. Throughout the service they played long, flute-like instruments that bellowed in between chants.
Scrolls with bright illustrations and an image of the Dalai Lama sat on the altar behind them.
"It is such an honor to have these holy men with us," the Rev. B.J. Beu told the congregation of about 50.
This is the second year the monks have made the pilgrimage to the United States, a program that started in partnership with Tibet Handicrafts' owner Tenpa Dorjee.
The church has had its Tibetan prayer banners up all year in the church's courtyard and in the sanctuary. The congregants also made their own banners with prayers.