The 244th Lantern Lighting Ceremony was held on Sunday night, April 15, the eve of Patriot’s Day, at Old North Church in Boston’s North End. The Lantern Ceremony celebrates the events of the night of April 18, 1775, when two men acting under the orders of Paul Revere snuck into the Old North Church late at night, climbed up Boston’s tallest steeple and hung two lanterns. Their act of defiance against military occupation and monarchical rule ushered in the start of the American Revolutionary War. Ever since the 1875 centennial anniversary of the lantern hanging, Old North has invited guests and community leaders to participate in a ceremony honoring the patriots who made that midnight ride possible.
With retirement coming at year's end, this was the last lantern ceremony for Stephen T. Ayres as Vicar of Old North Church, with special remarks by Bishop Alan M. Gates. Ayres also penned a Sunday column for the Boston Globe highlighting the need and importance of supporting Boston’s historic sites.